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PBorESSOB or the bnsiiISh lanouaqe and 







Copyright, 1908, by 
Charles Sceibners Sons 

PublUhed, Febnuiry, 1908 






Preface vii 


I Francis Bacon xv 

II The Essays lix 

Title-page of the Third Edition of the Essays . . xcvii 

The Epistle Dedicatort xcix 

The Table ci 

Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral 

V I Of Truth 3 

II Of Death 7 

III Of Unity in Religion 11 

/ IV Of Eevenge 19 

V Of Adversity 22 

VI Of Simulation and Dissimulation .... 24 

Vn Of Parents and Children 29 

VIII Of Marriage and Single Life 32 

IX Of Envy 35 

X Of Love 42 

XI Of Great Place 45 

XII Of Boldness 51 

XIII Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature . . 53 

XIV Of Nobility 58 

XV Of Seditions and Troubles 60 




XVI Of Atheism 71 

j XVII Of Superstition 76 

1 XVtll Of Travel 79 

XIX Of Empire 82 

XX Of Counsel 91 

XXI Of Delays 98 

XXII Of Cunning 100 

XXIII Of Wisdom for a Man's Self 106 

XXIV Of Innovations 109 

XXV Of Dispatch Ill 

XXVr Of Seeming Wise 114 

XXVII Of Friendship 117 

XXVIII Of Expense 130 

XXIX Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and 

Estates 132 

XXX Of Eegiment of Health 146 

XXXI Of Suspicion 149 

XXXII Of Discourse 151 

XXXIII Of Plantations 154= 

XXXIV Of Eiches 159 

XXXV Of Prophecies 165 

XXXVI Of Ambition 170 

XXXVII Of Masques and Triumphs 174 

XXXVIII Of Nature in Men 178 

XXXIX Of Custom and Education 181 ' 

i XL Of Fortune 184 

xJil Of Usury 187 

XLII Of Youth and Age 193 

XLIII Of Beauty 197 

XLIV Of Deformity 200 

XLV Of Building 203 

XLVI Of Gardens . , 211 



" XL VII Of Negoeiating 225 

XL VIII Of FoUowers and Friends 227 

XLIX Of Suitors 230 

-*t,L Of Studies . 2^ 

LI Of Faction ' 235 

Ln Of Ceremonies and Eespects 288 

LIII Of Praise 241 

LIV Of Vain-Glory 243 

LV Of Honour and Reputation 247 

/ LVI Of Judicature 251 

"^ LVII Of Anger 258 

LVTII Of Vicissitude of Things 261 

Index 275 


In this edition of Bacon's Essays, I have used 
the text of James Spedding, The Works of Francis 
Bacon, Vol. XII, 1857-1874. Mr. Spedding edited 
the Essays with the Latia translation hefore him, 
and the large majority of his footnotes explain the 
English text by giving, untranslated, the corre- 
sponding Latin translation. In order to simplify 
the page, all the Latin footnotes have been omitted. 
Further, I have omitted all of Mr. Spedding 's Eng- 
lish notes but seventeen, which are distinguished 
from my own notes by the signature 'S.' The 
seventeen notes that I have retained bear wholly 
upon matters of text on which Mr. Spedding is the 
final authority. For example, in the essay, Of 
Unity in Religion, I have kept the note calling 
attention to Bacon's use of the double negative. In 
the essay. Of Empire, Mr. Spedding 's note, 
from his fellow editor, Mr. Kobert Leslie Ellis, is 
historically interesting, because it shows Bacon fol- 
lowing the old physiology. If Bacon had lived two 
years longer than he did, to hear of Harvey's dis- 
covery of the circulation of the blood, he would un- 
doubtedly have revised his metaphor of "the gate- 
vein, which disperseth the blood" out of both the 
Essays and The Historie of the Baigne of King 


Eenry the Seventh. Mr. Spedding's note on the 
essay, Of Nature in Men, tells us that Bacon's use 
of the verb 'lay' where 'lie' would now be em- 
ployed may mean that the verbs 'lie' and 'lay' had 
not become differentiated in his time. All informa- 
tion like this about a classical English author is in- 
valuable to the student, for it encourages accuracy 
in reading a text and reverence in handling it. 

Mr. Spedding translated Bacon's frequent quota- 
tions from Latin authors and put his English ren- 
dering into the body of the text, in brackets. To 
make the page clear and pleasing to the eye, I 
have omitted all the bracketed English trans- 
lations of Mr. Spedding. My own translations to 
replace them have been put in the footnotes. In 
making new translations from the Latin, I have en- 
deavored to bear in mind three things, — ^to keep 
near the Latin sense, to use simple idiomatic Eng- 
lish, and to catch the Latin spirit, and indeed 
Bacon's spirit, by being at least brief. It is not 
possible to read any work of Bacon and know just 
what he is saying without a reading knowledge of 
Latin, for he is likely to quote Tacitus or Cicero or 
Seneca on almost every page. I am of those who 
deplore the displacement of Latin literature in our 
schools and colleges by vaguer subjects requiring 
less mental exertion. I have therefore made no 
effort either to minimize or to popularize Tacitus 
and Cicero. They are of the elect. They become more 
elect, more the aristocrats of letters, as an irrepress- 
ible and levelling democracy passes them by on its 
primrose path to an educational ideal of "small 


Latin and less Greek." I hope, however, that stu- 
dents of Latin will find my treatment of Bacon's 
Latin helpful in familiarizing them with the lan- 
guage. With this idea in view, instead of simply 
locating the Latin quotations, I have frequently 
given the classical quotation to show the original 
thought of the Roman author and Bacon's Latin 
paraphrase of it side by side. In almost every in- 
stance I think it will be seen that Bacon while re- 
taining the substance of the thought has expressed 
it in briefer and simpler Latin. This is partly the 
difference between a Roman writing his own lan- 
guage when it was living and an Englishman writ- 
ing it in the age of Elizabeth when it was dead. But 
it is more than that. It is the piercing intellect of 
Bacon seeing clear and thinking straight, and shoot- 
ing its arrow of expression right into the bull's-eye. 
An example in point is the quotation from Sallust, 
on the contradictoriness of kings, in the essay, Of 
Empire. There, making use of the bare thought, 
Bacon attributes it to Tacitus, but quoting it 
again in full Latin idiom, in the Advancement 
of Learning, he ascribes it correctly to Sallust. 
Bacon is an author who is not afraid to repeat him- 
self, rather he is of opinion that a good idea is worth 
repeatiag. I have noted the recurrence of many 
of the Latin quotations of the Essays in the Ad- 
vancement of Learning. Dr. William Rawley re- 
cords that he had a habit of quoting the substance of 
another man's words, but in better form. Tacitus, 
in the first book of his Eistoriae sums up the char- 
acter of Vespasian as emperor in fourteen words. 


Bacon quotes the character in the essay, Of Great 
Place, in six Latin words ; in the Advancement of 
Learning the six words are reduced to five. 

In citations from the Bible, Bacon frequently has 
the Vulgate in mind, quoting it freely just as he 
quotes Tacitus and Cicero. I have examined aU 
these quotations, and in a number of cases my notes 
point out variations between the Latin of the Vul- 
gate and Bacon's rendering of it. 

In some cases, in order to draw attention to an 
English word derived directly from a Latin one, I 
have purposely made a Latinized translation in 
preference to a more idiomatic one which would 
have satisfied my own language sense better. One 
of these premeditated Latinized translations is that 
from Lucan's Pharsalia in the essay, Of Seditions 
and Troubles. 

"Words whose meaning has changed since Bacon's 
time and obsolete words are defined once only, un- 
less the same word occurs in more senses than one. 
In defining words, I have followed the authority of 
the New English Dictionary as far as that work is 
published, which is at this time, with some breaks, 
down to the word 'reserve.' Where the Oxford 
dictionary is not yet available, I have used the Cen- 
tury Dictionary. The words that I have had to 
define most frequently have been the prepositions 
'to,' 'in,' 'of,' 'by,' 'upon,' 'after,' and the like. 
As one studies the history of these little words, 
they appear to act the part of sentinels in the 
expansion of English. Behind them lies the great 
army of nouns, forever assuming fresh mean- 


ings to advance into foreign territory, and forever 
compelling the sentinel prepositions to take up new 
outposts in order to hold the position gained. 

To illustrate Bacon's use of language, I have 
made a point of drawing upon Shakspere and the 
Bible. The Authorized Version of the Bible was 
being translated between the years 1607 and 1610, 
and was published in 1611. Either The Tempest, 
composed about 1610 or 1611, or The Winter's Tale, 
acted May 15, 1611, is Shakspere 's last complete 
play. Bacon brought out the second edition of his 
Essays, the bulk of them, in 1612. Illustrations 
from King James's Bible and from Shakspere are 
the best to be had to explain the English of Bacon's 
Essays, for the three great classics are almost as 
precisely contemporaneous as it is possible to be. 
Making the citations without forethought just as 
they occurred to me, I found on completing the 
notes that all the thirty-seven plays of Shakspere 
had been called into requisition to illustrate Bacon's 
fifty-eight essays. 

"Thy creatures have been my books, but thy 
Scriptures much more," Bacon wrote in humilia- 
tion after his pitiful fall from power. Bacon's 
knowledge of the Bible, both the Vulgate and the 
Authorized Version, was thorough and familiar, 
and he uses it with fine effect, producing that mix- 
ture of simplicity and grandeur which marks his 
style. There is some suggestion of the Bible on al- 
most every page of the Essays. Wherever the 
Bible is quoted, and wherever there is a reflection of 
its language or phraseology, I have given in my 


notes the exact reference, using the Authorized 
Version which Bacon knew, and the Vulgate, for 
the Latin allusions. 

But while I have made large use of Shakspere 
and the Bible, my illustrative notes are by no means 
confined to the seventeenth century. The English 
language looks backwards as weU. as forwards, and 
I have put its literature to use over the centuries 
from Chaucer to Thomas Hardy. Some of the 
quotations from Scottish literature indicate the sur- 
vival in Scots of forms used by Bacon, but now 
either lost or obsolescent in English. 

I have ventured to hope that my notes may serve 
a double purpose, not only to make Bacon's thought 
clear, but to rouse interest and to stimulate to fur- 
ther reading. Occasionally they point a pretty 
moral and are meant to. Sydney Smith's "Maxims 
to make one get up" is the happiest of renderings 
for the Latin proverb in Of Parents and Children, 
while the quotation from The Faery Queene under 
the word 'indignity,' Of Great Place, gives Spen- 
ser 's. thought on corruption or 'graft.' 

I think I took most pleasure in editing the essay, 
Of Gardens. It is not possible now to know just 
what iris Bacon meant by the 'ehamai'ris,' or 
whether 'flos Africanus' was the botanical name 
of the French marigold in his day, but as far as I 
could I have identified botanically all the plants 
and flowers Bacon mentions in his Elizabethan gar- 
den, except those so familiar as to need no comment. 
And wherever any of them is mentioned by Shak- 
spere I have added a posy from his plays. But 


Keats and Cowper and Tennyson and Ben Jonson 
and Thomson and Evelyn and Dryden also walked 
in Bacon's garden, and last, but not least, Sir Wal- 
ter Scott was there showing his friend, Susan Ed- 
monstone Terrier, about. 

To insure absolute clearness, all titles of books, 
both English and Latin, have been cited in full. 
Abbreviations, especially Latin abbreviations, are 
more misunderstood and so more disregarded than 
is generally supposed. Elizabethan titles are given 
in Elizabethan spelling, and in general in the older 
literature the older spellings have been preserved. 

Finally, the notes explain briefly Bacon's his- 
torical allusions. All references, whether to Bacon's 
reading in writing the Essays, or to my own in 
editing them, have been personally verified. 

Mart Augusta Scott. 

NoETHAMPTON, MASS., 15 January, 1908. 



Francis Bacon was born January 22, 1561, at 
York House, in the Strand, London, the youngest of 
the eight children of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord 
Keeper of the Great Seal. Sir Nicholas Bacon, a 
stanch Protestant and a good lawyer, was one of 
that remarkable group of able men the young 
Queen Elizabeth gathered around her upon her ac- 
cession to the throne, in 1558. Of her Lord Keeper, 
WiUiam Camden says, "She relied on him as the 
very oracle of the law." 

Sir Nicholas Bacon was twice married; first, to 
Jane Fernely, daughter of "William Fernely, of 
West Creting, Sujffolk, who died leaving three sons 
and three daughters, and second, to Anne Cooke, 
second daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, of Gidea 
Hall, Essex. Lady Anne Cooke Bacon was the 
mother of Anthony and Francis Bacon. Coming 
into the world the son of a Lord Keeper, in York 
House, which he was himself to occupy as Lord 
Keeper in after years, Francis Bacon was as truly 
born to commanding position in life as is a king's 


son. Many of his kinsmen held distinguished posi- 
tions and filled them with credit to themselves and 
the nation. Lady Bacon was left a widow as a com- 
paratively young woman, so that we naturally hear 
more of her family in the history of her famous 
son, than of his half-brothers and half-sisters, who 
were considerably older. But what has come down 
to us of his relations with these elder Bacons helps 
materially to reconstruct his environment. 

The Elizabethans were great builders. The Wars 
of the Roses ended forever in England the necessity 
of building for proteation from hostile neighbors, 
and the policy of internal peace fostered by the 
Tudors enabled Englishmen to accumulate wealth. 
Landholders under Queen Elizabeth could afford to 
build beautiful homes, and they liked to surround 
themselves with the new luxuries brought to their 
notice in England by the travellers, especially by the 
travellers in France and Italy. In domestic archi- 
tecture, two of these luxuries were glass windows, 
which often fill up the side of a room in an Eliza- 
bethan house, and spacious gardens encircling the 
entire building and adorned with all sorts of de- 
vices, some original and some more or less crudely 
adapted from formal gardens abroad. Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, though not a rich man, built two houses. 
Redgrave, Guilford, Suffolk, where he had married 
his first wife, was without gardens, and so limited 
in size that Queen Elizabeth visiting her Lord 
Keeper there told him his house was too small. 
"No, Madam," replied Sir Nicholas, "my house is 
not too small for me, but your Majesty has made me 


too great for my house." Gorhambury, near St. 
Albans, was a larger house. About Gorhambury, 
says Edmund Lodge, in his Portrait of Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, he added "gardens of great extent, in the 
contrivance and decoration of which every feature 
of the bad taste of his time was abundantly lav- 
ished. ' ' Gorhambury was left to Lady Anne Bacon, 
and ultimately became the property and the coun- 
try home of Francis Bacon. 

The mansion of Redgrave was inherited by Sir 
Nicholas Bacon, 2d, who was doubtless hard pressed 
to support there his family of nine sons and 
three daughters. Nathaniel Bacon, second of the 
elder sons, is described as of Stiffkey, Norfolk. He 
was something of an artist. Playing upon the name 
and domestic habits of his stepmother, Anne Cooke 
Bacon, he made a portrait of her, now at Gorham- 
bury, dressed as a cook and standing in a litter of 
dead game. The third elder brother, Edward 
Bacon, obtained from Queen Elizabeth, in 1574, a 
lease of Twickenham Park, on the Thames fronting 
the royal palace at Richmond. Francis Bacon 's let- 
ters as a young man are often dated from Twicken- 
ham Park, showing that he lived from time to time 
at his half-brother 's country seat. 

In 1597, when Bacon was elected to Parliament 
for Ipswich, the family county town, he had as col- 
leagues no less than six kinsmen. His brother An- 
thony sat for Oxford; his half-brother, Nathaniel, 
for Lynn; his cousin, Sir Edward Hoby, for 
Rochester ; his cousin, Sir Robert Cecil, for Herts ; 
while Henry Neville, who represented Liskeard, 


was his nephew, the son of his half-sister, Eliza- 
beth Bacon, whose second husband was Sir Henry- 
Neville. Another connection of Bacon's in the 
Parliament of 1597 and his colleague in the repre- 
sentation for Ipswich was Michael Stanhope, 
grand-nephew to his mother. 

Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, a remarkable woman, 
was a member of a remarkable family. Her father. 
Sir Anthony Cooke, tutor to King Edward VI, had 
five daughters, who received the same careful, thor- 
ough education that he gave to his sons. They all 
became highly educated women and all five made 
brilliant and happy marriages. Mildred, the eldest, 
became the second wife of William Cecil, Lord 
Burghley, the great Lord Treasurer who guided 
Elizabeth's government so adroitly and so wisely. 
Elizabeth Cooke, the third daughter, married twice ; 
first. Sir Thomas Hoby, ambassador to France and 
translator of II Cortegiano (The Courtier), which 
Dr. Johnson described as "the best book that ever 
was written on good breeding," and, second, John, 
Lord Eussell, son of Francis Russell, second Earl 
of Bedford; Catherine Cooke married Sir Henry 
Killigrew, of that family of Killigrews of Cornwall 
which in the time of the Restoration produced the 
two dramatists, father and son, Thomas Killigrew 
senior and junior ; Margaret Cooke married Sir 
Ralph Rowlett. 

Anne Cooke Bacon is said to have been able to 
read Latin, Greek, Italian, and French, "as her 
native tongue." There remain two translations by 
her, both showing her interest in the Protestant 


cause. Before her marriage she translated Cer- 
tayne Sermons of the ryghte famous and excellente 
clerk Master B. Ochine (1550?). This is a collection 
of sermons by the Italian Protestant preacher, Ber- 
nardino Ochino, who was a prebend of Canterbury 
under Archbishop Cranmer. Fourteen of the 
twenty translated sermons are the work of Anne 
Cooke. The most interesting literary work of 
Bacon's mother is a translation from the Latin of 
Bishop Jewel's Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 
1562, entitled Apologie or aunswer in defence of the 
Church of England, 1562 and 1564. The second 
edition contains a prefatory address to Lady Bacon 
as the translator, by Archbishop Parker. It seems 
that she had submitted the MS. to him, accom- 
panied by a letter written in Greek, and he re- 
turned it to her printed. An Elizabethan Protest- 
ant treatise says,— "The apologie of this Church 
was written in Latin, & translated into English by 
A. B. (Anne Bacon) with the comendation of M. C. 
(Mildred Cecil), which twaine were sisters, & wives 
unto Cecil and Bacon, and gave their assistance and 
helping hands in the plot and fortification of this 
newe erected synagog." Queen Elizabeth thought 
so highly of the Apologie that she ordered a copy of 
it to be chained in every parish church in England. 
Many of Lady Bacon's letters to her sons Anthony 
and Francis are extant. They are written in vigor- 
ous English interspersed with quotations from 
Greek and Latin writers, and the picture of family 
relations they reveal is highly interesting. 

These details show how exceptional were the cir- 


cumstanoes surrounding Bacon by right of birth. 
He was brought up in the society of the greatest 
personages in England and was known to the Queen 
as a child. Dr. William Rawley, his chaplain and 
first biographer, tells the story of Elizabeth's at- 
traction towards the bright boy. The Queen "de- 
lighted much then to confer with him, and to prove 
him with questions ; unto whom he delivered him- 
self with that gravity and maturity above his years, 
that Her Majesty would often term him, The Young 
Lord-Keeper. Being asked by the Queen how old 
he was, he answered with much discretion, being 
then but a boy. That h e was two years younger than 
Her Majesty's happy reign; with which answer the 
Queen was much taken." This anecdote, furnish- 
ing the only glimpse of Francis Bacon as a child, is 
as picturesque as it is authentic. 

In April, 1573, Francis and Anthony Bacon, boys 
of twelve and fourteen, respectively, were entered 
as fellow-commoners of Trinity College,-Cambridge, 
under the care of John Whitgift, then Master of 
Trinity and Viee-Chancellor of the University, and 
afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Whitgift 's 
account-book tells us incidentally what was the gen- 
eral course of study at Trinity College in Bacon's 
boyhood. It shows that between April, 1573, and 
Christmas, 1575, he supplied the Bacon boys with 
the following books, — Caesar, Cicero, Livy, Sallust, 
Xenophon, Homer's Iliad, Hermogenes, Demosthe- 
nes 's Olynthiacs, Aristotle, and Plato. We do not 
know how these authors were studied, but it is cer- 
tain that Francis Bacon left Cambridge in his six- 


teenth year with a good knowledge of the Greek and 
Latin classics and a love of reading. There are 
those who doubt whether any system of education 
can produce a better result than that. Bacon was 
"drenched" in classicism, to use one of his own tell- 
ing words. In after years when he sat down in his 
study to marshal his thoughts on any subject he re- 
called as if by instinct the wisdom of the ancients. 
He could command as easily the judgments of the 
great Greek and Roman historians as the imagina- 
tion of the great Greek and Roman poets. Tacitus 
sums up for him in immortal phrase a contem- 
porary character, and Homer and Vergil guide his 
expression in the vivid imagery that embroiders and 
illumines his language, like old carving in wood or 
stone, or the rich binding of a rare and princely 

Besides Whitgift's accounts, two anecdotes of 
Bacon's undergraduate days survive, both as char- 
acteristic of the future philosopher as the story of 
the young Lord Keeper is of the future courtier. 
One is a reminiscence of his own recorded in Sylva 
Sylvarum, (Century H. 151), — 

"I remember in Trinity College in Cambridge, 
there was an upper chamber, which being thought 
weak in the roof of it, was supported by a pillar of 
iron of the bigness of one 's arm, in the midst of the 
chamber; which if you had struck, it would make a 
little flat noise in the room where it was struck, but 
it would make a great bomb in the chamber be- 
neath." Dr. Rawley relates the other story,— 
"Whilst he was commorant [a resident] in the IJni- 


versity, about sixteen years of age, (as his lordship 
hath been pleased to impart unto myself) , he first 
fell into the dislike of the philosophy of Aristotle ; 
not for the worthlessness of the author, to whom he 
would ever ascribe all high attributes, but for the 
unfruitfulness of the way; being a philosophy (as 
his lordship used to say) only strong for disputa- 
tions and contentions, but barren of the production 
of works for the benefit of the life of man ; in which 
mind he continued to his dying day. ' ' 

/' This early interest in the physics of sound, a sub- 

; ject which always attracted Bacon, is as significant 
as the youthful judgment on the unfruitfulness of 

^, the philosophy of Aristotle. The judgment makes 
'the distinction between philosophy embracing all 
/ knowledge, as the ancients understood it and as in- 

\ deed it does, and science, for which Bacon's term 
"natural history" is now old-fashioned. "With 
Bacon, essentially a literary man, science was to 
lose its moorings to letters. 

At the end of three years Bacon left Cambridge, 
and at the age of about sixteen and a half years, 
was entered into the Society of the "Ancients" of 
Gray's Inn. Almost immediately after he had be- 
gun the study of law, an opportunity offered for 
him to travel and see the world. Sir Amias Paulet, 
who was sent to France as the Queen's ambassador, 
in 1576, invited Francis Bacon to go with him as a 
member of his household. Dr. Rawley says,— "He 
was after awhile held fit to be entrusted with some 
message or advertisement to the Queen ; which hav- 

\ ing performed with great approbation, he returned 


back into France again, with intention to continue 
for some years there." He remained about two 
years, spending most of the time in Paris, but fol- 
lowing the French Court to Blois, Tours, and Poic- 
tiers. Henry III, of Valois, was the French King 
and Catharine de' Medici the queen mother. The 
wars and intrigues of the Holy League were going 
on and the events stirring which led to the assas- 
sination of Henry III. The essays, Of .Revenge, 
Of Custom and Education, and Of Prophecies, 
allude to the political and social influences that 
surrounded the young attache of the English 
ambassador. In Prophecies, "one Dr. Pena" tells 
the inquiring lad a story about an astrologer and 
"the queen mother, who was given to curious arts." 
Another personal allusion to his stay in France oc- 
curs in the sixth book of the De Augmentis Scien- 
tiarum where he describes a biliteral cipher he in- 
vented in the intervals of his diplomatic leisure in 
Paris. Writing in cipher was a curious art then 
widely practised, and Bacon's early interest in it 
reveals the natural turn of his mind for the observa- 
tion of signs, that is, facts, and their recombination 
into new relations. Distinctly scientific is the ob- 
servation of an echo at Pont-Charenton, near Paris, 
which the young diplomat investigated and reports 
iu Sylva Sylvarum (Century III. 249, 251). "And 
thereby I did hap to find that an echo would not 
return S, being but a hissing and an interior 
sound." The description was written many years 
later, but the boy's experiment had remained per- 
fectly clear and fresh. He says he heard the echo 


"return the voice thirteen several times," and de- 
scribes it as " a tossing of the voice, as a ball, to and 
fro; like to reflections in looking-glasses." Fur- 
ther on the Sylva Sylvarum (Century X. 986) gives 
a biographical note .con-eerning the event which 
changed the whole course of Francis Bacon's life. 
Writing on what he calls "the secret virtue of sym- 
pathy and antipathy," now named telepathy, Ba- 
con says, — 

' ' I myself remember, that beiag in Paris, and my 
father dying in London, two or three days before 
my father's death I had a dream, which I told to 
divers English gentlemen, that my father 's house in 
the country was plastered all over with black mor- 

Sir Nicholas Bacon' died February 20, 1579. Dr. 
Eawley's statement of the situation in which Fran- 
cis Bacon was left by his father's sudden death is,— 
"In his absence in France his father the lord- 
keeper died, having collected (as I have heard of 
knowing persons) a considerable sum of money, 
which he had separated, with intention to have 
made a competent purchase of land for the liveli- 
hood of this his youngest son (who was only un- 
provided for; and though he was the youngest in 
years, yet he was not the lowest in his father 's affec- 
tion) ; but the said purchase being unaccomplished 
at his father's death, there came no greater share to 
him than his single part and portion of the money 
dividable amongst five brethren; by which means 
he lived in some straits and necessities in his 
younger years." Anthony Bacon had been estab- 


lished at Redburn, Herts, near St. Albans, and the 
manor of Gorhambury went to him as the elder 
son, although Lady Bacon lived there until her 
death. Francis Bacon's legacy was a good name 
and a great intellect, which had been trained and 
cultivated by the best education to be had at that 
time. Diplomacy could not be pursued as a career 
without means, and a month after his father's 
death. Bacon returned to London. He was eighteen 
years old, and was dependent on his own exertions 
both for a living and for advancement in the public 
service. He took lodgings in Gray's Inn and reso- 
lutely applied himself to the study of the law. 
Later Anthony Bacon, back from some years of 
travel in France, Italy, and Spain, joined him, and 
the brothers, with little ready money between them, 
set up a coachj much to their frugal mother's dis- 
may. She sends to her sons from Gorhambury 
home-brewed beer, fish, strawberries in season, and 
game, with accompanying letters full of motherly 
care and admonition. A letter to Anthony, dated, 
"Gorhambury, April 1, 1595," begins, — 

"I send between your brother and you the first 
flight of my dove-house; the Lord be thanked for 
all : ii dozen and iiii pigeons, xii to you, and xvi to 
your brother, because he was wont to love them bet- 
ter than you from a boy." Another letter to An- 
thony tells us what Bacon's habits as a student 
were, — "I verily thiak your brother's weak stomach 
to digest hath been much caused and confirmed by 
untimely going to bed, and then musing nescio quid 
when he should sleep, and then, in consequence, by 


late rising and long lying in bed, whereby his men 
are made slothful and himself continueth sickly." 
( Gorhambury, 24 May, 1592. ) 

It may be that Francis Bacon burned the mid- 
night oil, for he worked hard at his profession and 
he rose rapidly into notice. In 1584, at the age of 
twenty-three, he was elected to Parliament for Mel- 
combe Regis; in 1586, he sat for Taunton. The 
"great year" '88, the year of the Armada, made 
him member for Liverpool and Eeader at Gray's 
Inn. In all Bacon was elected to the House of Com- 
mons eight times and his Parliamentary career cov- 
ered the thirty years between 1584 and 1614. As a 
member of the Lower House Bacon combined qual- 
ities very seldom found in the same person. He was 
a useful and able committee-man, a ready writer, 
and a good speaker. With rare good fortune there 
has come down to us the impression he made as a 
public speaker on his two great contemporaries. Sir 
Walter Ralegh and Ben Jonson. Dr. Rawley says, — 
"I win only set down what I heard Sir Walter 
Ralegh once speak of him by way of comparison 
(whose judgment may well be trusted). That the 
Earl of Salisbury [his cousin, Robert Cecil] was an 
excellent speaker, hut no good penman; that the 
Earl of Northampton (the Lord Henry Howard) 
was an excellent penman, tut no good speaker; hut 
that Sir Francis Bacon was eminent in both." Ben 
Jonson 's testimony to Bacon's eloquence is itself 
nobly eloquent: In Timber; or Discoveries made 
upon Men and Matter {Dominus Verulamius), he 
j writes,— "Yet there hapn'd, in my time, one noble 


Speaker, who was full of gravity in his speaking. 
His language, (where hee could spare, or passe by 
a jest) was nobly censorious. No man spake more 
neatly, more presly, more weightily, or suffer 'd 
lesse emptinesse, lesse idlenesse, in what hee utter 'd. 
No member of his speech but consisted of the owne 
graces. His hearers could not cough, or looke aside 
from him, without losse. Hee commanded where 
hee spoke, and had his Judges angry, and pleased 
at his devotion. No man had their affection more 
in his power. The f eare of every man that heard 
him, was, lest hee should make an end." 

That Bacon was not naturally a good speaker, 
but studiously labored to acquire a pleasing ad- 
dress, is clear from a note in a paper of counsels and : 
rules drawn up for the guidance of his own con- 
duct, and called in his ready Latin — Custumae 
aptae ad Individuuni, 'Fit Habits for the Indi- 
vidual,' that individual being Francis Bacon, — 
"To suppress at once my speaking, with panting 
and labour of breath and voice. Not to fall upon 
the main too sudden, but to induce and intermingle 
speech of good fashion. ' ' 

The House of Commons was Bacon's school of 
life. It was there that he acquired his vast know- 
ledge of men and affairs. He began almost at once 
the excellent practice of recording his experiences, 
summing up for himself his thoughts on the various 
matters of business that came before Parliament. 
The earliest of these state papers, with character- 
istic boldness, is a Letter of Advice to Queen Eliza- 
beth, written at the close of 1584 or the beginning 


of 1585, on the difficult question of her policy to- 
wards the Roman Catholic interest. It is a remark- 
able paper to be produced by a young man of 
twenty-four. Though Protestant in tone the Letter 
is yet neither Puritan nor partisan in character. It 
is a broad, calm, judicial statement of what Bacon 
considered to be the position of the English Church 
three years before the Armada. In this paper and 
in another on the same subject four years later, An 
Advertisement touching the Controversies of the 
Church of England (1589), which is the essay Of 
Unity in Religion in germ, we see the future 
Lord Chancellor. The philosopher had alrea,dy 
written the first sketch of his ideas on the new 
learning, calling it with the simple grandiloquence 
of youth, Temporis Partus Maximus, the 'Greatest 
Birth of Time. ' It is certain that Bacon hoped to 
win advancement at Court by means of his state 
papers. It is equally certain that the Lord Treas- 
urer Burghley did not appreciate the work of his 
nephew. He was indeed employed to prepare 
papers from time to time, but no preferment came. 
Burghley was a plain, practical man, immersed in 
complicated affairs of state. It is possible, as has 
been suggested, that he quietly opposed the ad- 
vancement of Francis Bacon in order to keep the 
pathway open for his son, Robert Cecil, a man of 
moderate ability only. It may be. Machiavellian as 
he was, that he recognized from the first the pliabil- 
ity of his nephew and declined to trust him with 
political business. "Without a doubt, Bacon's liter- 
ary and philosophical aims were to him but the 


visions of a youthful enthusiast. After years of 
hope deferred, at an age which he describes as 
"somewhat ancient, one and thirty years," Bacon 
wrote the famous letter to Lord Burghley, setting 
forth his claims with dignity and appealing for help 
in the furtherance of his ambition, — 

"My Lord, — With as much confidence as mine 
own honest and faithful devotion unto your service 
and your honourable correspondence unto me and 
my poor estate can breed in a man, do I commend 
myself unto your Lordship. I wax now somewhat i 
ancient : one and thirty years is a great deal of sandl 
in the hour-glass. My health, I thank God, I find 
confirmed; and I do not fear that action shall im- 
pair it, because I account my ordinary course of 
study and meditation to be more painful than most 
parts of action are. I ever bare in mind (in some 
middle place that I could discharge) to serve her 
Majesty, not as a man born under Sol, that loveth 
honour, nor under Jupiter, that loveth business 
(for the contemplative planet carrieth me away 
wholly), but as a man born under an excellent sov- 
ereign that deserveth the dedication of all men's 
abilities. Besides I do not find in myself so much 
self-love, but that the greater parts of my thoughts 
are to deserve well (if I be able) of my friends, and 
namely of your Lordship ; who, being the Atlas of 
this commonwealth, the honour of my house, and 
the second founder of my poor estate, I am tied by 
all duties, both of a good patriot, and of an un- 
worthy kinsman, and of an obliged servant, to em- 
ploy whatsoever I am to do you service. Again, 


the meanness of my estate dotK somewhat move me ; 
for though I cannot accuse myself that I am either 
prodigal or slothful, yet my health is not to spend, 
nor my course to get. Lastly, I confess that I have 
as vast contemplative ends as I have moderate civil 
ends ; for I have taken all knowledge to be my prov- 
ince ; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, 
whereof the one with frivolous disputations, con- 
futations, and verbosities, the other with blind ex- 
periments and auricular traditions and impostures, 
hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should 
bring in industrious observations, grounded con- 
elusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries: 
the best state of that province. This, whether it be 
curiosity or vainglory, or nature, or (if one take it 
favourably) philanthropia. is so fixed in my mind 
as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that 
place of any reasonable countenance doth bring 
commandment of more wits than a man's own; 
which is the thing I greatly affect. And for your 
Lordship, perhaps you shall not find more strength 
and less encounter in any other. And if your Lord- 
ship shall find now, or at any time, that I do seek 
or affect any place whereunto any that is nearer 
unto your Lordship shall be concurrent, say then 
that! am a most dishonest man. And if your Lord- 
ship will not carry me on, I will not do as Anaxa- 
goras did, who reduced himself with contemplation 
unto voluntary poverty, but this I will do— I will 
sell the inheritance I have, and purchase some lease 
of quick revenue, or sotne office of gain that shall be 
executed by deputy, and so give over all care of 


service, and become some sorry book-maker, or a 
true pioneer in that mine of truth which (he said) 
lay so deep. This which I have writ unto your 
Lordship is rather thoughts than words, being set 
down without all art, disguising, or reservation. 
Wherein I have done honour both to your Lord- 
ship 's wisdom, in judging that that will be best be- 
lieved of your Lordship which is truest, and to your 
Lordship 's good nature, in retaining no thing from 
you. And even so I wish your Lordship all happi- 
ness, and to myself means and occasions to be added 
to my faithful desire to do you service. From my 
lodgings at Gray 's Inn. " ( 1592. ) 

This letter has often been quoted. It ought al- 
ways to be quoted in a life of Francis Bacon, for it 
is a clear and definite outline of his plans for his 
own career, and it helps to explain his character. 
He proposed to devote himself to a life of study, 
he wished to make the results of that study useful 
to his fellow-men, and he thought that place and 
power would give him "the vantage ground of 
truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the 
air is always clear and serene)." In splendid 
promise and splendid achievement, nothing in liter- 
ary history can be compared with the statement, — 
"I have taken all knowledge to be my province." 
Keats, writing on a far more limited theme, has 
expressed in imperishable verse what Bacon goes on 
to say had become the fixed idea of his mind,— 

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken ; 
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 


He stared at the Paeifie— and all his men 
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise- 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien." 

Lord Burghley did nothing— but preserve the 
letter. He probably thought it extravagant and 
hyperbolical. Bacon, undaunted, struggled on, 
keeping up his political interests, keeping up what 
he describes as his "ordinary course of study and 
meditation," and going somewhat more into Court 
society in the wake of his brother Anthony, who 
was living with him in Gray's Inn. 

To this period belongs the beginning of Bacon's 
intimacy with the Barl"bf Essex, who took both 
brothers into his service, Anthony as his secretary 
and Francis as his lawyer and man of political af- 
fairs. The social character of the early association 
of the three young men— Essex was the youngest 
— is indicated by three jeux d'esprit from Francis 
Bacon's pen, his early masques or 'devices.' Two 
of these were 'triumphs' offered by the Barl of 
Essex to the Queen, one in November, 1592, and the 
other iu 1595; the third was a Gray's Inn revel of 
1594. Bacon furnished the 'discourses,' or texts, 
and the essay Of Masques and Triumphs grew out 
of this practical experience of the stage. It is in- 
terestiug if only as showiug that when Bacon 
turned his mind to what he calls 'toys,' they are no 
longer toys. What he has to say about dramatic 
representation accompanied by music and color ex- 
hibits a lively fancy and good taste, while the dis- 
courses display the same qualities of style as his 
more serious writings, thought, wit, and fresh 


imagery. One of the discourses of tlie 'device' of 
1592, lie shortly afterwards enlarged into an argu- 
mentative defence of the Queen's government. 

The Earl of Essex was at the height of his 
power and influence at Court during these ,years 
when the Queen graciously permitted him to enter- 
tain her now and then with a masque. More than 
any other Elizabethan nobleman, Essex seemed 
to possess the qualities then considered nec- 
essary in the perfect courtier. He was of 
noble birth; he had a handsome face and manly 
bearing; his manners were winning; he was gen- 
erous, gallant, and brave. He was also impulsive, 
headstrong, jealous, and imperious. But if he had 
not been endowed with the more serious and sober 
qualities of an able man, his relations to Bacon 
could not have been what they were. He was the 
first person at Court to understand and appreciate 
the great intellect and ready wit of Bacon. He used 
his influence with the Queen to urge the advance- 
ment of his political secretary. But he was soon to 
learn that even as the reigning favorite he was not 
all-powerful at Elizabeth's Court. She made a 
sharp distinction between business and pleasure, 
and the Cecils, father and son, controlled the busi- 
ness of her government. 

In 1593, a vacancy was about to occur in the 
office of Attorney-General. Bacon fijxed his eye on 
the place and Essex encouraged his candidacy. The 
Cecils thought him too young and inexperienced for 
so important a post, and proposed to promote the 
Solicitor-General, Sir Edward Coke. The Queen 


agreed with them, though she dallied with Essex, 
and kept both Bacon and Coke in suspense through- 
out the year. Finally, in April, 1594, Sir Edward 
Coke was named Attorney-General. Bacon was 
much depressed, and spoke of retiring to Cambridge 
to spend his life in "studies and contemplations, 
without looking back." Coke's advancement left 
the post of Solicitor-General vacant, and Essex at 
once renewed his importunities for the Solicitor- 
Generalship for his friend. It was now clear that 
the Queen doubted Bacon's legal capacity for 
either of the offices he desired. She told Essex that 
Bacon had "a great wit and an excellent gift of 
speech, and much other good learning, but that in 
law she rather thought he could show to the utter- 
most than that he was deep." Another delay of 
more than a year and a half followed. During this 
year. Bacon visited Cambridge, where, July 27, 
1594, he received the honorary degree of Master of 
Arts. Essex, with less discretion than zeal, thought 
to hasten matters by acquainting the Queen with 
Bacon's threat of retirement. We read what fol- 
lowed in a letter from Bacon to his brother An- 
thony. Bacon was summoned to the Court, where 
he had an interview, not with Queen Elizabeth, but 
with his cousin, Sir Robert Cecil. The Queen was 
angry, Cecil said, that he should have presumed to 
hasten her decision in any way. "Then Her Ma- 
jesty sweareth that if I continue in this manner she 
will seek all England for a solicitor rather than 
take me; that she never dealt so, with any one as 
with me; that she hath pulled me over the bar 


(note the words, for they cannot be her own). We 
parted in kindness secundum exterius." Essex 
never had any real political power, and by his im- 
petuousness and lack of judgment, what Bacon 
called his "fatal impatience," he really injured 
Bacon more than he helped him. He was conscious 
of this himself, for he wrote to his friend, — "The 
Queen was not passionate against you, until she 
found I was passionate for you. ' ' She passed over 
Bacon a second time, and appointed the Recorder 
of London, Thomas Fleming, Solicitor-General, 
November 5, 1595. Bacon's letter, just quoted, 
shows that he attributed his failure, not to Essex, 
but to Sir Eobert Cecil. Many years later, upon 
sending to the Duke of Buckingham the patent 
creating him a viscount, he wrote, — "In the time 
of the Cecils, the father and son, able men were by 
design and of purpose suppressed. ' ' 

Bacon retired to Essex's villa at Twickenham, 
whence he wrote to Fulke Greville, — "I have been 
like a piece of stuff bespoken in the shop ; and if 
Her Majesty will not take me, it may be the selling 
by parcels will be more gainful. For to be, as I 
told you, like a child following a bird, which when 
he is nearest flieth away and lighteth a little before, 
and then the child is after it again, and so in in- 
finitum, I am weary of it." 

Attendance upon Court was an expensive way of 
life, and both Anthony and Francis Bacon lived 
beyond their means. "I am sorry," Lady Anne 
Bacon wrote to Anthony, "your brother and you 
charge yourselves with superfluous horses. The 


wise will but laugh at you both; being but trouble, 
besides your debts, long journeys, and private per- 
sons. Earls be earls." (September 7, 1594.) Essex 
generously offered to relieve Bacon's financial 
straits. "Tou shall not deny to accept a piece of 
land which I will bestow upon you." Bacon de- 
murred, but in the outcome he accepted an estate 
from Essex which he afterwards sold for £1800. 
His letter of acceptance is of importance in explain- 
ing his relations with Essex, because it shows that 
even at this time Bacon foresaw that he might have 
to choose between his friendship for Essex and his 
loyalty to the Queen's government. "My Lord," 
he said, "I see I must be your homager and hold 
land of your gift : but do you know the manner of 
doing homage in law ? Always it is with a saving 
of his faith to the King and his other Lords : and 
therefore, my Lord (said I), I can be no more yours 
than I was, and it must be with the ancient sav- 
ings. ' ' 

In the summer of 1596, the Earl of Essex com- 
manded the land forces in the expedition against 
Cadiz, the most brilliant military exploit of Eliza- 
beth's reign. But the capture of Cadiz added noth- 
ing to Essex's reputation as a soldier. Rather it 
proved clearly what Elizabeth and Cecil and Bacon 
had all along thought, that Essex was impossible as 
a military leader. He was indeed brave and daring, 
but he was impatient of advice, he exceeded his in- 
structions, and he was so jealous of his subordinate 
officers that he could not get on with any of them. 
His enemie? at Court had not beeii idle during his 


absence from England, and when the results of the 
taking of Cadiz turned out to be inconsiderable, the 
favor of the Queen towards him began perceptibly 
to wane. Bacon's first extant letter of political ad- 
vice is dated October 4, 1596. In it he advised 
Essex to give up his military ambition, to try to 
remove the common impression that he was opin- 
ionative, to disguise his feelings, and to "win the 
Queen." It was the cautious, worldly-wise admoni- 
tion of a friend who knew well both the Court and 
the young Earl. But it was not in Essex's nature 
to be wary. He steadily overestimated his influence 
with the Queen and constantly thwarted her will. 
"I ever set this down," Bacon wrote later in his 
Apology, "that the only course to be held with the 
Queen, was by obsequiousness and observance. 
.... My Lord on the other hand had a settled 
opinion that the Queen could be brought to noth- 
ing but by a kind of necessity and authority." 
The breach between the friends widened during 
the year 1597. 

Bacon meantime had been made one of the 
Queen's Counsel Extraordinary, as we learn from a 
lease of sixty acres of land in Zelwood Forest, Som- 
erset, which was granted to him July 14, 1596. 
Very early in 1597, Bacon published his first book, - 
the Essays, ten only, bound with two other works, 
his Meditationes Sacrae and Of the Colours of Good 
and Evil. The dedication is to " his deare Brother, ' ' 
Anthony Bacon. 

The ninth Parliament of Elizabeth, which met 
October 24, 1597, was the one in which Bacon sat for 


Ipswich, and had six members of his own family as 
colleagues. His most important speech of this ses- 
sion was one "against depopulation of towns and 
houses of husbandry, and for the maintenance of 
husbandry and tillage," a subject which he ex- 
panded afterwards in the essay. Of the True Great- 
ness of Kingdoms and Estates. 

During the summer of 1599, Essex made his dis- 
astrous campaign in Ireland. He had prevailed 
upon the Queen to send him to the island as Lord 
Lieutenant to put down the rebellion of the Earl of 
Tyrone. Far from conquering Tyrone, between 
March and September he managed to lose some 
£300,000 and ten or twelve thousand men. Essex's 
enemies about the Queen, Sir Eobert Cecil, Sir Wal- 
ter Ralegh, and the Earl of Nottingham, bad rather 
favored his absence from Court, and they took 
pains to keep Elizabeth informed of the failure of 
the most expensive enterprise she had ever under- 
taken. It was even said that Essex did not mean to 
do anything in Ireland, but was using his authority 
there to intrigue with Tyrone and with James VI 
of Scotland for his own aggrandizement. Elizabeth 
let Essex know of her dissatisfaction with the cam- 
paign, required an explanation, and forbade him to 
return without orders. In spite of this express 
command, Essex conceived the extraordinary idea 
of abandoning his post and hastening to England 
to throw himself at the feet of the Queen. Eliza- 
beth was at her palace of Nonesuch, and there, on 
the 28th of September, as we read in one of the 
Sidney Letters,— 



"Without stopping to change his dress, travel- 
stained as he was, he sought the Queen in her cham- 
ber, and found her newly-risen, with her hair about 
her face. He kneeled to her and kissed her hands. 
Elizabeth, taken by surprise, gave way to her old 
partiality for him, and the pleasure she always had 
in his company. He left her presence much pleased 
with her reception, and thanked God, though he had 
suffered much trouble and storm abroad, that he 
had found a sweet calm at home. ' ' 

The next day the Earl of Essex was ordered into 
the custody of the Lord Keeper Egerton, at York 
House. After several months' delay, Essex was 
brought before a special commission at York House, 
June 5, 1600. Bacon as one of the Queen's counsel 
took a minor part in the prosecution. Essex was 
acquitted of disloyalty, but found guilty of dis- 
obedience in neglecting his orders and deserting his 
command. He was sentenced to be suspended from 
all his offices and to be imprisoned in his own house 
during the Queen's pleasure. Bacon by the Queen's 
order drew up an account .of the proceedings of the 
Privy Council in the case. When he read this 
paper to her for criticism, he had touched so lightly 
upon Essex's offences in one passage that Elizabeth 
smiled, and said "she perceived old love could not 
easily be forgotten." Bacon's quick wit at once 
turned the expression back upon her. "Whereupon 
I answered suddenly, that I hoped she meant that 
by herself. ' ' 

In a short time Essex was released from seques- 
tration, but was forbidden to come to Court. The 


restraint of his position, free, but still under a 
cloud, was peculiarly galling to a man of Essex's 
high spirit. Bacon counselled patience, but Bacon 
at this time was occupying an impossible position 
between an old friend whom he had just helped to 
prosecute and the Queen who suspected everybody 
in the Essex connection. Elizabeth had no inten- 
tion of restoring Essex to favor, as she took occa- 
sion to show when his patent for the monopoly of 
sweet wines expired a few months after his dis- 
missal from Court. He petitioned for a renewal of 
the lease, and received the ungracious answer,— 
"No, an unruly beast must be stinted of his pro- 
vender. ' ' 

The Earl of Essex, out of favor completely and 
nursing his grievances, was soon surrounded with 
other disaffected men who made Essex House a 
centre of conspiracy against the government. These 
gatherings were watched by the Court, and on Sat- 
urday, February 7, 1601, Essex was summoned be- 
fore the Privy Council. He refused to attend. That 
same night there was a performance of "the depos- 
ing and killing of King Eichard the Second, ' ' pos- 
sibly Shakspere 's tragedy, at the Globe Theatre. It 
developed at Essex's trial that his friends had paid 
the actors forty shillings to present this particular 
play that night, in the hope that the sight of the 
deposition of the kiag on the stage might stir up 
the populace. The next day, Sunday, the Earl of 
Essex, with some two hundred followers, made his 
abortive attempt to raise the city. He rode through 
London crying out that his life was in danger and 



the country sold to Spain. The Queen's forces 
easily quelled the rising, and within twelve hours 
Essex was a prisoner in the Tower, charged with 
high treason. 

On February 19, the Earls of Essex and South- 
ampton were arraigned together. The Attorney- 
General, Sir Edward Coke, conducted the prosecu- 
tion, and Bacon appeared with him as Queen's 
counsel. Essex 's defence was that he had taken up 
arms not to overturn the government, but to pro- 
tect his own life. Bacon spoke twice during the 
trial, interposing both times to recall the court to 
the main issue against Essex, and to show that his 
defence of a private grievance was a pretext in- 
vented by him at the eleventh hour. Essex's an- 
swer to one of these speeches is a sufficient reply to 
those who say he spoke no word of reproach to 
Bacon, — 

"To answer Mr. Bacon's speech at once, I say 
thus much; and call forth Mr. Bacon against Mr. 
Bacon. You are then to know that Mr. Francis 
Bacon hath written two letters, the one of which 
hath been artificially framed in my name, after he 
had framed the other in Mr. Anthony Bacon's name 
to provoke me. In the latter of these two he lays 
down the grounds of my discontentment, and the 
reasons I pretend against my enemies, pleading as 
orderly for me as I could do myself. ... If those 
reasons were then just and true, not counterfeit, 
how can it be that now my pretences are false and 
injurious ? For then Mr. Bacon joined with me in 
mine opinion, and pointed out those to be mine en- 



emies, and to hold me in disgrace with Her Maj- 
esty, whom he seems now to clear of such mind 
towards me; and, therefore, I leave the truth of 
what I say, and he opposeth, unto your Lordship's 
indifferent considerations." 

Bacon did not produce the two letters, or offer to 
produce them, although they must have been in his 
possession, for in his Apology he prints them both, 
claiming that he manufactured the fictitious cor- 
respondence between his brother and Essex solely 
to bring about a reconciliation between the Earl 
and the Queen. 

The Earls of Essex and Southampton were con- 
victed and condemned to death, but Essex only was 
executed. After the execution Bacon was employed 
as before to write an account of Essex's offences, 
and did so in a paper called, A Declaration of the 
Practises and Treasons attempted and committed 
ly Boiert late Earle of Essex and his Complices, 
against her Maiestie and her Kingdom, etc. (1601). 
For his services. Bacon received £1200, from the 
fine of Catesby, one of the accomplices of Essex. 
"The Queen hath done something for me," he 
wrote to a creditor, "though not in the proportion 
I had hoped. ' ' 

Bacon's conduct towards Essex has been a fruit- 
ful subject of controversy. Some of his biographers 
find no fault with it, while others see writ large in 
the circumstance an insensibility to nice moral dis- 
tinctions that led later to his downfall. The Earl 
of Essex had committed treason, and according to 
the standard of justice in that age he deserved 


death. It was Bacon's duty as a loyal citizen to 
abhor the crime. But condemnation of the crime is 
a very different thing from taking part in the prose- 
cution and helping to bring an old friend to the 
block. That contemporary opinion did not approve 
of Bacon's course is clear from the testimony of 
Bacon himself. Even before Essex's affairs had 
reached their climax, he said one day to the Queen 
in a burst of "passion" very unusual for him, "A 
great many love me not, because they think I have 
been against my Lord of Essex; and you love me 
not, because you know I have been for him. ' ' And 
either he smarted under the censure of public 
opinion, or his conscience twitted him, for when 
both .Elizabeth and Essex were dead, and there 
could be no answer to his statements, he wrote his 
Apology in Certain Imputations concerning the late 
Earl of Essex (1604). 

If Bacon hoped to win advancement by acting as 
an unsworn counsel of the Queen against the Earl 
of Essex, he was disappointed, for there was no 
change in his political circumstances during the life 
of Queen Elizabeth. His material circumstances 
were improved in 1601 by the death of his brother 
Anthony, to whom he was probably more sincerely 
attached than to any other person. 

With the accession of James I, Bacon's position 
began to mend. In August, 1604, his office as one of 
the learned counsel was confirmed, and for the first 
time a salary of £60 a year was attached to it. One 
of the first acts of sovereignty of James I was the 
conferring of knighthood on a mob of gentlemen at 



so many pounds a head. George Chapman and 
John Marston for ridiculing "my thirty-pound 
knights" in Eastward Hoe, were thrown into 
prison, in 1605, whereupon Ben Jonson valiantly 
walked into prison to share their punishment. 
Francis Bacon, writing to Sir Robert Cecil, July 3, 
1603, expresses three several reasons for desiring 
one of those purchasable baronetcies, — 

"Lastly, for this divulged and almost prostituted 
title of knighthood, I could without charge, by your 
Honour's mean, be content to have it, both because 
of this late disgrace, and because I have three new 
knights in my mess in Gray's Inn's commons; and 
because I have found out an alderman's daughter, 
an handsome maiden to my liking. ' ' A second let- 
ter, a fortnight later, begged that he might receive 
the honor in some such manner as would confer real 
distinction, and "not be merely gregarious in 
a troop." He was duly knighted two days before 
the coronation, July 23, 1603, but he had to share 
the honor with three hundred other gentlemen. In 
the autumn of 1605 appeared The Two Boohs of 
Francis Bacon, Of the Proficience and Advance- 
ment of Learning. 

On the 11th of May, 1606, Sir Dudley Carleton 
wrote to John Chamberlain,— 

' ' Sir Francis Bacon was married yesterday to his 
young wench in Maribone Chapel. He was clad 
from top to toe in purple, and hath made himself 
and his wife such store of fine raiments of cloth -of 
silver and gold that it draws deep into her portion. ' ' 

Sir Francis Bacon's wife was Alice Barnham, 


daughter of Benedict Barnham, a merchant who 
had heen hoth alderman and sheriff of London. 

Meantime Sir Francis Bacon kept his application 
for the post of Solicitor-General well before the 
Court of the new King. If the indifference of his 
cousin, Sir Robert Cecil, now Earl of Salisbury, and 
the ill-will of Sir Edward Coke, his legal rival, 
doomed him ever to new disappointment, Cecil and 
Coke at least found in Bacon a persistence worthy 
of a better cause than office-seeking. Elizabeth 
Bacon, his half-sister, had made a third marriage 
with Sir William Periam, Chief Baron of the Ex- 
chequer. Sir William- Periam died in 1604, and was 
succeeded as Chief Baron by the Solicitor-General, 
Sir Thomas Fleming. Bacon hoped to get the va- 
cant Solicitor-Generalship, but it went for a second 
time over his head and. was given to Sir John Dode- 
ridge. A third set-back followed two years later. 
In 1606, Sir Edward Coke was made Chief Justice 
of the Court of Common Pleas. It had been the 
custom under Queen Elizabeth to promote the 
Solicitor-General to the office of Attorney-General 
in case of its vacancy, but it suited King James to 
select Sir Henry Hobart for Attorney-General to 
succeed Coke, thus avoiding a vacancy in the Soli- 
citor-Generalship. A year later Sir John Doderidge 
was promoted out of the way, and at last, "silently, 
on the 25th of June, ' ' 1607, Sir Francis Bacon was 
appointed Solicitor-General. He was forty-seven 
years old and had been applying for the position 
for fourteen years. 

With an assured official income and the private 


means he had acquired as his brother's heir, Bacon 
was for the first time relieved from pressing pecu- 
niary anxieties. He was free to devote what leisure 
he could secure to those "vast contemplative ends" 
which in his better moments he always regarded as 
his real interest in life. Now, too, he reaped the 
rich harvest of the long years of his unpaid ap- 
prenticeship. Queen Elizabeth had thought him a 
theorist in the law, and had caused him to serve 
twice seven years roving afield in practice. The re- 
sult was that when Sir Francis Bacon became Soli- 
citor-General, he brought to the discharge of his 
duties such a wealth of knowledge of the law, in 
both theory and practice, as none of his predeces- 
sors were able to approach, and some of them had 
been very able lawyers. At the same time, and this 
fact is often not even mentioned by Francis Bacon's 
biographers, at the same time, through repeated 
disappointments, through insecure health, through 
anxiety, through loneliness, through calumny, this 
extraordinary man had kept up his studies and 
meditations. They were carried on as we know in 
hours stolen from sleep, between sessions of Par- 
liament, during the few holidays of a busy life, and 
always under physical difficulties, for the essay 
Of Regiment of Health reflects Bacon's personal 
experience in managing a mind too active for the 
body it inhabited. Bacon came into his own late 
in life, but when success found him, his rise was 
rapid. Within ten years after obtaining the Soli- 
citor-Generalship, he had reached the top of his 
profession as Lord Chancellor ; within twenty years 


he had published the books which have made his 
fame "a possession forever" wherever the English 
language and literature shall spread. 

In 1613, by the death of Sir Thomas Fleming and 
the promotions of Sir Edward Coke and Sir Henry 
Hobart, Sir Francis Bacon succeeded Hobart as 
Attorney-General. In 1616, he was made a Privy 
Councillor ; nine months later, March 7, 1617, the 
Great Seal was delivered into his hands and he had 
followed his father as Lord Keeper; nine months 
later still, January 4, 1618, he became Lord Chan- 
cellor, and in July following was created Baron 
Verulam ; January 27, 1621, the still higher title of 
Viscount St. Alban was conferred upon him. 

During these years Bacon wrote much. To the 
year 1609 belongs the treatise Be Sapientia Vete- 
rum, or Of the Wisdom of the Ancients, which he 
describes in the preface as a recreation from severer 
studies. It is a collection of thirty-one classical 
myths, each with a second title in English, often 
one word only, giving Bacon 's interpretation of the 
myth; for example, Perseus; or War, Sphinx; or 
Science. The stories are remarkably well told, and 
should be better known than they are. In 1612, 
the second edition of the Essays, now enlarged from 
ten to thirty-eight, was published. Bacon's mother, 
Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, died in the interval be- 
tween these two works, in August, 1610. Two 
masques belonging to this period tell us what was 
happening to him of a less grave nature. The Prin- 
cess Elizabeth was married to the Elector Palatine, 
February 4, 1613, and the gentlemen of Gray's Inn 


and the Inner Temple gave a masque in honor of 
the event, called The Marriage of the Thames and 
the Rhine. Francis Beaumont was the author and 
Sir Francis Bacon the "chief contriver." On 
January 6, 1614, the gentlemen of Gray's Inn pre- 
sented The Masque of Flowers, in celebration of 
the marriage of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, 
with Lady Frances Howard, the divorced wife of 
Essex's son, Robert Devereux, third Earl of Es- 
sex. Sir Francis Bacon, the new Attorney-Gen- 
eral, was the "chief encourager" of this masque, 
which is said to have cost him £2000. 

All this while, during more than thirty years, 
the great philosophical work of Bacon's life was 
going on, getting itself written in sketches and 
treatises, under different subjects, and in separate 
parts, as time permitted. He had called it as a 
mere boy Temporis Partus Maximus, 'The Great- 
est Birth of Time.' About 1607, the title Instaur- 
atio Magna, that is, 'Great Restoration' appears. 
When the work finally saw the light in October, 
1620, still incomplete, it bore the name Novum 
Organum, or 'New Organ.' 

Within six months after the publication of the 
Novum Organum, Francis Bacon was overwhelmed 
in the appalling catastrophe which deprived him 
at one stroke of position, power, and good fame> 
He had been created Viscount St. Alban, January 
27, 1621. On January 30 Parliament met. Five 
days later Sir Edward Coke, Bacon's life-long 
rival, moved that a committee be appointed to in- 
quire into public grievances. Two committees were 


named, to investigate monopolies and to report on 
the administration of the courts of justice. This 
latter committee reported to the House of Commons, 
March 15, that the Lord Chancellor was guilty of 
corruption in office, and cited two cases of bribery 
as proof. Bacon fell ill, and sat in the House of 
Lords for the last time on March 17. He wrote to 
the Duke of Buckingham, he had an interview 
with the King, but he was only referred back to 
the Commons. By the middle of April the two 
original charges had increased to twenty-three. At 
first Bacon was inclined to meet the charges against 
him and to defend his honor, but his judgment 
wavered from day to day. He wrote to the King, 
April 20, asking for the charges in particular. 
The next day, April 21, it occurred to him that he 
might weather the "tempest that had come upon 
him" by a general submission, and he wrote again, 
— "I assure myself that if it be reformation that 
be sought, the very taking away the Seal, upon 
my general submission, will be as much an exam- 
ple for these four hundred years as any further 
severity." On the following day, April 22, he 
sent a letter to the Lords, entitled, The Humble 
Submission and Supplication of the Lord Chan- 
cellor, in which he said,— "I do ingenuously con- 
fess and acknowledge that, having understood the 
particulars of the charge, not formally from the 
House, but enough to inform my conscience and 
memory, I find matter sufficient and full, both to 
move me to desert the defence, and to move your 
Lordships to condemn and censure me." The 


Lords were puzzled by Bacon's change of front, 
from demanding particulars to a general confes- 
sion of guilt, when as yet the charges had neither 
been read in full committee, nor formally laid be- 
fore the accused Lord Chancellor. The Earl of 
Southampton, whom Bacon had assisted in con- 
demning to death with Essex, voiced the opinion 
of the peers when he said,— "He is charged by the 
Commons with corruption ; and no word of confes- 
sion of any corruption in hiS submission. It stands 
with the justice and honour of this House not to 
proceed without the parties' particular confession; 
or to have the parties hear the charge, and we to 
hear the parties' answer." 

The Lords voted to spare the Lord Chancellor 
the indignity of being brought to the bar to be 
confronted with the charges, but they sent him a 
"collection of corruptions," with the message that 
they expected "his answer to the same with all 
convenient expedition." Bacon replied, April 30, 
with a full confession. It reads in part, — 

"To the Right Honorable the Lords Spiritual and 
Temporal in the High Court of Parliament 

"The Confession and Humble Submission of me, 
Lord Chancellor: — 

"Upon advised consideration of the charge, de- 
scending into my own conscience, and calling my 
memory to account so far as I am able, I do plainly 
and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of cor- 
ruption, and do renounce all defence. ' ' 



Nothing was left to do but to pronoimce judg- 
ment. Bacon was summoned before the House of 
Lords May 3 to receive sentence, but he was too ill 
to appear. It was voted unanimously that the Lord 
Chancellor Bacon should pay a fine of £40,000; 
that he should be forever incapable of holding of- 
fice, or of sitting in Parliament ; that he should be 
imprisoned in the Tower during the King's pleas- 
ure ; and that he should not come within the verge 
of the Court, that is, within a range of twelve 
miles round the King's residence in London. By 
a majority of two he was allowed to retain his 
titles. On the 31st of May Bacon was imprisoned 
in the Tower, and wrote the same day to Bucking- 
ham begging for a warrant for his release. In this 
letter, in the same sentence in which he acknow- 
ledged "the sentence just, and for reformation sake 
fit," he declared that he was "the justest Chan- 
cellor that hath been in the five changes since Sir 
Nicholas Bacon's time." The King ordered Ba- 
con's release at once, as we learn from a letter of 
thanks to Buckingham, dated June 4. Subse- 
quently the fine was remitted by transferring it 
from the King to persons named by Bacon, in 
trust for Bacon. The rest of the sentence stood, 
except that in about a year he was allowed to re- 
turn to London. 

It had been a rise to vast power and influence. 
It wag a fall full of shame and ignominy. Bacon 
was too great a man, however, not to be great still 
even in disgrace. He retired to Gorhambury, and 
there for the remaining five years of his life he 



occupied himself with literary' pursuits. During 
the first summer of his enforced retirement to 
private life, he composed his Historie of the Baigne 
of King Henry the Seventh. In 1623, he published 
the Latin version of the Advancement of Learn- 
ing, now issued in nine books with the title De 
Augmentis Scientiarum. The poet George Her- 
bert is said to have helped him with the translation. 
His Apophthegmes New and Old, 1624, can only be 
said to have been the occupation of a morning in 
the sense that he may have arranged the order of 
the stories in one morning. The last three years of 
Bacon's life were spent in writing his Sylva Syl- 
varum: or A Natural History, and in editing the 
third and final edition of the Essays. This edition, 
published in March, 1625, contains the fifty-eight 
essays of all subsequent editions, and was entitled 
Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall. The book 
was dedicated to the Duke of Buckingham. To us 
who have received the great inheritance of the Eng- 
lish language, it seems very curious that Bacon 
should write in the dedication, nine years after the 
death of Shakspere,— "For I do conceive that the 
Latin volume of them (being in the universal lan- 
guage) may last as' long as books last. ' ' The Latin 
translation of Bacon's Essays was first published 
in 1638 by his chaplain. Dr. William Eawley, 
among the Opera Moralia et Civilia, and with the 
title Sermones Fideles sive Interiora Berum. It 
is inferred that Bacon at least supervised the Latin 
translation, from the fact that he left this opinion 
as to its value, but it is now impossible to ascertain 


whether he himself was the translator of the whole 
or of any particular part of the work. Mr. Sped- 
ding thinks that Bacon was concerned in the re- 
vision of the essay, Of Plantations, if not in its 
careful translation. Two essays, Of Prophecies 
and Of Masques and Triumphs, have no Latin 
translation. The absence of translations of these 
two essays may mean, either that Bacon was his 
own translator and had not time to complete the 
whole series before his death, or that the work of 
supervising translations by other persons ceased 
with the death of the author. 

The story of the death of Francis Bacon is fa- 
miliar. It was the direct result of an experiment 
like those he describes in his Natural History. On 
a cold, raw day in early spring, April 2, 1626, as 
he was driving out of London, it occurred to him 
to find out whether a fowl stuffed with snow could 
be kept. He stopped and bought a hen from a 
woman by the roadside and stuffed it with snow 
himself. He was taken with a chiU, and, unable to 
go home, he sought refuge in the house of the Earl 
of Arundel, at Highgate. His last letter, one of 
apology to Lord Arundel for his involuntary in- 
trusion, shows that he knew his condition was se- 
rious, but that he did not expect the end. He says, 
—"I was like to have had the fortune of Caius 
Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an 
experiment about the burning of the mountain 
Vesuvius," and adds, characteristically, "as for 
the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently 
well." After an illness of a week only, Francis Ba- 



con died, early on Easter morning, April 9, 1626, 
of the disease now known as bronchitis. He was 
buried, as he had directed in his will, beside his 
mother, in St. Michael's Church, St. Albans, where 
a monument in white marble was erected to his 
memory by his former secretary, Sir Thomas 
Meautys. An effigy on the stone represents Ba- 
con's "full portraiture in the posture of study- 
ing." In wide-brimmed hat and long official robe, 
with falling ruff. Bacon is seated in an arm-chair, 
his head resting on his left arm. The Latin in- 
scription underneath was written by Sir Henry 
Wotton. The monument portrait is figured as the 
frontispiece to Part I of John Nicol's Francis Ba- 
con: His Life and Philosophy. 

Sir Thomas Meautys had married Anne Bacon, 
daughter of Bacon's half-brother. Sir Nathaniel 
Bacon. After her husband's death. Lady Meautys 
became the second wife of Sir Harbottle Grim- 
ston. Speaker of the House of Commons in the year 
of the Eestoration. She had a life interest in the 
manor of Gorhambury, which Sir Harbottle 
Grimston made his principal country seat, and of 
which he bought the reversion. James Walter 
Grimston, third Earl of Verulam, descends from 
Sir Harbottle Grimston, so that Sir Nicholas Ba- 
con's manor of Gorhambury passed through his 
.granddaughter to the present owner. 

Posterity is indebted to the Grimston family 
for the preservation of at least two of the five con- 
temporary representations of what Francis Bacon 
looked like. There is at Gorhambury a set of three 


colored busts in terra cotta representing Sir Nich- 
olas Bacon, Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, and their 
son Francis, as a boy of about twelve. The work- 
manship is Italian, and by the same hand, and of 
a high degree of artistic excellence. From the age 
of the boy the busts must have been made about 
the year 1572. The boy's bust is especially inter- 
esting, because seen beside the busts of his father 
and mother, it shows that Francis Bacon 's likeness 
was to his mother. The frontispiece of Vol. XI of 
James Spedding's The Works of Francis Bacon 
is an engraving from a drawing of the bust of Ba- 
con done in profile. 

The next portrait is a miniature made by Nich- 
olas HiUiard, in 1578, when Bacon was living in 
Paris in the household of Sir Amias Paulet, the 
English ambassador. Nicholas HiUiard is the ar- 
tist of whom John Donne wrote in his poem, The 
Storm, — 

" a hand or eye 
By HiUiard drawn is worth a history 
By a coarse painter made." 

Mr. Spedding describes the HiUiard miniature as 
"a work of exquisite beauty and delicacy." An 
engraving of it was made for Basil Montagu's, 
The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of 
England, 1825-1834, whose notice in The Edin- 
burgh Review, for July, 1837, is T. B. Macaulay's 
celebrated essay on Lord Bacon. The HiUiard 
miniature was at that time in the possession of 
John Adair Hawkins. 



The Earl of Verulam owns a portrait of Bacon 
by the Dutch artist, Paul Van Somer. Mr. Sped- 
ding dates the picture 1618 or thereabout, after 
Bacon had been made Lord Chancellor and created 
Baron Verulam. Van Somer 's work is more inter- 
estiag for the details of the dress of the period 
than for character, and he gives Lord Chancellor 
Bacon a rather wooden and expressionless face. 
He is painted in his robe and wearing a hat. A 
second portrait at Gorhambury, without a hat, is 
there attributed to Van Somer. Mr. Spedding 
thinks it is not a Van Somer, but a copy of the 
other done by an iuferior artist at some later period 
when the fashion of painting people with the head 
covered had gone out. The reputed Van Somer, with 
a very wooden face, is figured in Vol. II of John 
Nicol's Francis Bacon: His Life and Philosophy. 

The frontispiece of Vol. I of James Spedding 's 
edition of Bacon is an engraving after the old print 
of Simon Pass. This artist, whose name is vari- 
ously spelled Pass, Van de Pas, or Passe, Passaeus, 
was one of the earliest copperplate engravers in 
England, having emigrated from the Netherlands 
to pursue his art in London. Mr. Spedding 
thought that he had "some reason to suspect" that 
Pass's engraving was made from a painting, now 
lost, by the Dutch artist, Cornelius Jannsen Van 
Ceulen. Whoever the artist, his work is much su- 
perior to that of Van Somer. He portrays a hand- 
some man, well worthy to have developed out of 
the graceful youth of the Hilliard miniature and 
the beautiful boy of the Italian bust. 


Another portrait of Bacon, not mentioned by 
Spedding, is now in the National Portrait Gal- 
lery. A process print of it illustrates the article 
on Francis Bacon, at page 214 of Sidney Lee's 
Great Englishmen of the Sixteenth Century. The 
original is a second portrait of Bacon as Lord 
Chancellor by Paul Van Somer. As a work of art 
the picture seems to have more character and it is 
certainly more attractive than the Van Somer at 

In the effort to make a fair judgment of Bacon's 
moral character, Bacon himself is found to be at 
once his best advocate and worst accuser. He was 
inconsistent and he wielded a ready pen. An anec- 
dote of the time relates that Bacon retired to Gor- 
hambury while his trouble was upon him to try to 
recover there his disturbed health and harassed 
spirits. On the journey, the story says, Prince 
Charles returning from a hunt "espied a coach, 
attended with a goodly troop of horsemen, who, 
it seems, were gathered together to wait upon the 
Chancellor to his house at Gorhambury, at the time 
of his declension. At which the Prince smiled: 
'Well, do what we can,' said he, 'this man scorns 
to go out like a snuff.' " But arrived at Gorham- 
bury, Bacon made the first draft of his will, dated 
10th April, 1621, and wrote "the majestic prayer 
to which Addison refers as more after the manner 
of an archangel than of a man." Majestic also, 
easily overtopping the language of all but the great- 
est of men, is the opening sentence of the will,— 
"For my name and memory, I leave it to men's 


charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and 
the next ages." 

The world has accepted Bacon's own judgment 
of himself, — 

"I was the justest judge that was in England 
these fifty years. But it was the justest censure 
of Parliament that was these two hundred years." 

Francis Bacon was a man of his time, and it was 
a time of gift-giving and gift-taking. He was 
ostentatious and lived always beyond his means. 
He kept a large retinue of servants and was too 
busy and too careless of detail to look to them 
closely. All this made him an easy prey to facility, 
which he describes as the fourth vice of authority, 
— "As for facility, it is worse than bribery; for 
bribes come but now and then ; but if importunity 
or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be with- 
out." Of Great Place. During the four years 
of Bacon's Chancellorship he made some two thou- 
sand orders and decrees a year. Not one of these 
judgments was reversed, even in the twenty-three 
eases where bribery was charged. No case of 
proved injustice was brought forward in all that 
heat of prosecution, nor has historical research 
discovered any such case since. Bacon did not 
sell injustice. But the selling of justice, even 
through carelessness or time-serving, is intolerable. 
There is no freedom, except under the supremacy 
of law. The reign of law cannot be maintained by 
corrupt judges. By his own confession, Lord 
Chancellor Bacon was a corrupt judge. "The 
pity of it." 




The Essays 

The Elizabethan age is the most creative period 
in English literature. The foreign wars in which the 
young Chaucer bore a part had ended in the aban- 
donment of the English claim to the French crown. 
The civil Wars of the Roses had brought forward 
the Tudor family, who in Henry VII, Henry VIII, 
and Elizabeth, gave to the English nation three of 
the ablest rulers it has ever produced. By the 
marriage of one of the Tudors the Scottish king 
who had become heir to the English throne was to 
carry peace with him into England after three 
centuries of warfare on the northern border. For 
the first time Englishmen had leisure to devote 
their energies to other interests than war upon 
their neighbors. Fortunately, just at this time, 
the great wave of the Renaissance, the new birth of 
letters, having spent itself in Italy and crossed 
France and Spain, reached the shores of England. 
There it was eagerly welcomed by men, who, if 
they had not the poise and mental reach of the 
Italians of the Renaissance, or the gayety and 
sense of form of their French contemporaries, had 
yet more daring and more intellectual curiosity. 
The same spirit of adventure that carried Sir 
Francis Drake around the globe induced the Eliza- 
bethans to try aU sorts of new forms in literature. 
Shakspere would not be "oui* myriad-minded 



Shakspere,'' as Coleridge called him, if he had 
not best expressed the thought of a myriad-minded 
age. Most of the new literary forms were first 
made known to the Elizabethans by translations 
from the Italian and French. Sir Thomas Wyatt 
translated Italian songs and sonnets and presages 
a burst of lyric music from that "nest of singing- 
birds," the poets and dramatists of Elizabeth's 
time. William Painter translated novels from Boc- 
caccio and Queen Marguerite, and Robert Greene 
composed original tales after their manner. 
Translations ot Machiavelli and Comines taught 
men how to write history, and Sir Walter Ealegh, 
ending his days in imprisonment, wrote the His- 
tory of the World in the Tower. Richard Hak- 
luyt's Principall Navigations, "the great Eliza- 
bethan bible of adventure," largely translated 
from the journals of Italian, Spanish, and Portu- 
guese navigators, is the beginning of that splendid 
series of stories of voyage and discovery and peace- 
able conquest by Englishmen which is unsurpassed 
in the literature of any nation. Sir Philip Sidney, 
an Italianated Englishman of the noblest type, 
inaugurates English criticism in The Defence of 
Poesie. With Francis Bacon begins philosophical 
reflection upon life, in the style of Plutarch's Mor- 
als and the Essais of Montaigne. Bacon's mind 
was catholic in its range like Plutarch's, but the 
subjecta of moral thought that interest him are 
comparatively few, because generalized. His treat- 
ment of a moral subject is more scientific also than 
that of the classical writer, more scientific than 



himself even when writing on a strictly scientific 
theme. In the Sylva Sylvarum: or A Natural His- 
tory, for example, Bacon brings together a great 
many facts about nature, which he calls "experi- 
ments," some of them observations of real value, 
while others must have been trivial even to him- 
self. In the Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, 
the method is ever to reduce reflection to its lowest 
terms, to try to discover the fundamental princi- ^ 
pies of conduct that influence the actions of men. 
Again, Bacon has nothing of the attractive person- 
ality of Montaigne, a man of the world who made 
a point of finding out what the world was like 
from all sorts and conditions of men, from the king 
on his throne to the groom of his riding-horse. 
Montaigne writes on and on about a subject in 
breezy discursiveness, like a man on horseback 
traversing an interesting country. Bacon's Essays 
reflect his experience of life, but they tell us little y 
or nothing of his personal likes and dislikes. They 
are austere, brief to the point of crudeness, they ^ 
smeU of the lamp . ' 

Bacon 's own judgment of his Essays, as we know 
from the dedicatory epistle prefixed to the third 
edition, was that they might last as long as books 
last. In the essay. Of Innovations, he says, "Time 
is the greatest innovator." The most obvious di- 
vision of the Essays is that which time has made. 
Certain essays do "come home to men's business 
and bosoms" in a universal way. They appeal to all 
men at all times. They discourse of great subjects 
in the grand manner. The essays. Of Truth, Of 



Death, Of Great Place, might have been written by 
Aristotle, and what is said in these and other essays 
of like character is as true to-day as when Bacon 
lived. Another type of essay is distinctly limited, 
partly by Bacon's own character and partly by the 
social characteristics of his time. The essay Of 
Friendship grew out of Bacon's longest and most 
disinterested friendship, but no man can write 
an adequate essay on this noble theme, and yet 
say, as Bacon did in Of Followers and Friends, 
"There is little friendship in the world, and 
least of all between equals, which was wont to be 
magnified. That that is, is between superior and 
inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one 
the other." A thought like that puts friendship 
on the low plane of a paying basis. That Bacon 
could utter it has tarnished his fame with the 
charge of treachery towards Essex. The essays. 
Of Love, and Of Marriage and Single Life, were 
the product of a social condition in which pas- 
■^ sion did not necessarily enter into the marriage 
relation, and marriage itself was an afPair to be 
arranged between parties suitably situated. It 
was a man's world, and it is impossible to judge 
it fairly now, because in the modern world the ad- 
vancement of woman has revolutionized the older 
ideas of domestic relations. Essayists of Bacon's 
mental characteristics will still write on love and 
marriage, but their treatment of these themes must 
' inevitably be broader and deeper; because it has 
been spiritualized. It is juster, because it recog- 
nizes the mutual obligations of men and women. 


When Emerson talks about Friendship and Love 
we are in another world than Bacon's. Emerson 
opens his essay on Domestic Life with impassioned 
tenderness for the child in the house. There are 
no children in Bacon's world and the few children 
in Shakspere's plays are all sharp of wit, preco- 
cious beyond their years. They are the children 
of his brain, not little people he had lived with. 
Some eight or ten of Bacon's essays have become 
obsolete in thought. They are those which grew 
out of his experience of life at the Courts of Eliza- 
beth and James I, of the petty rivalries and in- 
trigues which led him to believe and to say, ''All 
rising to great place is by a winding stair." Ba- 
con's "winding stair" to the Lord Chancellorship 
runs through the essays. Of Simulation and Dis- 
simulation, Of Delays, Of Cunning, Of Wisdom 
for a Man's Self, Of Dispatch, Of Suspicion, Of 
Negociating, and Of Followers and Friends. Fancy 
Emerson writing an essay on cunning ! It is not 
that dissimulation and cunning no longer exist in 
the world, but that the intellectual appeal of such 
subjects is now restricted to their kind. Like 
drunkenness, dissimulation has descended in the 
social scale. 

When we recall that the composition of his Essays 
occupied Bacon's thought for the space of more 
than thirty years, it is curious that he nowhere 
alludes to any English contemporary by name, ex- 
cept Queen Elizabeth, and that after her death. 
But between the lines Bacon has left on record the 
characters of three men who crossed his path. 



From the singularly intimate private diary which 
he called Commentarius Solutus, we know that 
the essay Of Seeming Wise is a portrait of Sir 
Henry Hobart, who by securing the appointment 
of Attorney-General, in 1606, effectually barred 
Bacon's way to that position for seven years. 
Bacon bitterly resented being passed over, and 
jotted now in his notes a series of epigrams on 
"Hubbard's disadvantages" which seem to have 
developed iato this essay, in which Attorney-Gen- 
eral Hobart represents as type the weak man who 
is made to believe himself wondrous wise. The 
essay Of Deformity, at the time of its publication, 
was said to be a portrait to the life of Bacon's 
cousin, Eobert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, who may 
be also in mind in the essays Of Envy and Of 
Cunning. Cecil's stature of scarce five feet 
was produced by curvature of the spine. He was 
so small that Elizabeth called him "little man" or 
"little elf." James I addressed him as "pygmy" 
or even "little beagle." The fine essay Of Judica- 
ture is the substance of a charge to Sir Rich- 
ard Hutton, on his being raised to the bench of the 
Court of Common Pleas, 3d May, 1617. Bacon as 
Lord Chancellor on delivering him his patent com- 
plimented him on possessing the virtues of a judge, 
essentially those set forth in the essay. 

Three of the essays tell us what recreations ap- 
pealed to Bacon in the intervals of his busy life of 
statecraft and authorship. The essay Of Masques 
and Triumphs grew out of a long experience of 
writing in lighter vein. Between 1588 and 1614 


Bacon was the author or "chief contriver" or 
"chief eneourager" of no less than six masques. 
After his marriage, in 1606, he found his father's 
house at Gorhambury too small, and built there a 
large and stately mansion, Verulam House, an 
experience which enabled him to speak with au- 
thority Of Building. In the following essay, Of 
Gardens, he writes,— "I, for my part, do not 
like images cut out in juniper or other garden 
stuffs; they be for children." That is a criticism 
of Sir Nicholas Bacon's garden at Gorhambury, 
which gave place to the "princely garden" of not 
less than "thirty acres" surrounding Verulam 
House, and which is described with such minute- 
ness of detail that the plan of it may be easily re- 
constructed. Bacon's fondness for gardens is his 
most engaging trait. A garden, he says, is "the 
purest of human pleasures," "the greatest refresh- 
ment to the spirits of man." John Aubrey's gos- 
sip brings him before us enjoying his own garden. 
' ' Every meale, according to the season of the yeare, 
he had his table strewed with sweet herbes and 
flowers, which he sayd did refresh his spirits and 
memorie." And again, — "His Lordship was a 
very contemplative person, and was wont to con- 
template in his delicious walks at Gorhambury, 
and dictate to Mr. Bushell, or some of his gentle- 
men, that attended him with ink and paper ready 
to set downe presently his thoughts." But the 
favorite companion in the meditative walks 
through the covert alleys of Gorhambury was 
Thomas Hobbes, author of The Leviathan. "Mr. 



Tho. Hobtes (Malmesburiensis) was beloved by 
his Lop. [Lordship], who was wont to have him 
walke in his delicate groves, when he did meditate : 
and when a notion darted into his mind, Mr. 
Hobbes was presently to write it downe, and his 
Lop. was wont to say that he did it better than any 
one els about him ; for that many times, when he 
read their notes he scarce understood what they 
writt, because they understood it not clearly them- 
selves. In short, all that were great and good 
loved and honoured him. ' ' 

Of Regiment of Health narrates how Bacon 
managed to preserve almost to the Psalmist's three 
score years and ten a body naturally frail, and to 
get out of it a vast amount of hard work. It was 
accomplished through a thorough knowledge of his 
own constitution, and by the constant observance 
of a few simple principles of hygiene, temperance 
always, and a just mean between work and recre- 

With the essay Of Plantations should be read 
the early history of the colony of Virginia. The 
first attempt to colonize Virginia was in 1585, 
when Sir Richard Grenville carried out a band of 
colonists under rules of government drawn up by 
Grenville 's cousin, Sir Walter Ralegh. This colony 
failed a year later while Bacon was serving his 
second term in the House of Commons as member 
for Taunton. Ralegh as member for Devon was at 
the time his colleague, and the failure undoubtedly 
left an impression in Bacon's mind, as all matters 
of public policy did. In the second year of his 


Solicitor-GeneralsMp, when King James was pro- 
posing the Protestant plantation of Ulster, Bacon 
wrote his first article on colonization, Discourse of 
the Plantation in Ireland, about January, 1608-1609. 
His point of view was essentially that put forth in 
Certain Articles or Considerations touching the 
Union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland 
(1604). The Solicitor- General believed in the ag- 
grandizement of the United Kingdom, peaceably 
by preference, but by force if necessary. At the 
very time that Bacon was engaged in writing this 
paper on the Irish plantation, a fresh attempt to 
colonize Virginia was maturing at Court, for on 
May 23, 1609, "The Treasurer of the Company of 
Adventurers and Planters of the City of London 
for the First Colony in Virginia" was chartered by 
King James, primarily to go to the relief of Cap- 
tain John Smith. Among the six hundred and fifty- 
nine "adventurers" were Sir Francis Bacon, his 
cousin, Eobert Cecil, now Earl of Salisbury, Shak- 
spere's friend, the Earl of Southampton, and Sir 
Oliver Cromwell, uncle to the Protector. The essay 
Of Plantations, first published in the third edition 
of the Essays (1625), was written from a personal 
knowledge of the London or South Virginia Com- 
pany. Bacon mentions the over-cultivation of the 
new plant, tobacco, in Virginia, "to the untimely 
prejudice of the main business." The very streets 
of Jamestown were planted with tobacco by the first 
settlers, who then secured for themselves from 
King James a monopoly of the home market for 
their commodity, in spite of the royal objection to 


the "vile eustome of Tobacco taking." The ad- 
vice to colonists not to let their government depend 
upon too many counsellors at home, "but upon 
a temperate number only," doubtless reflects Ba- 
con's own experience of the unwieldy committee 
of noblemen and gentlemen who tried to govern the 
planters of Virginia from the safe and uninformed 
distance of London. 

"Travel," says Bacon, "in the younger sort, is 
a part of education ; in the elder, a part of experi- 
ence." His own travels, as we know, were "a 
part of education," and they extended no farther 
than Prance, nor beyond his eighteenth year. 
After that he was too busy and for many years 
too poor to travel. But the essay Of Travel 
shows that he had profited by the travels of others, 
and especially by those of his brother, Anthony, 
who wandered about the continent, chiefly in 
France, for the eleven or twelve years between 
1579 and 1592. By the middle of Elizabeth's 
reign, it had become the fashion for noblemen's 
sons and young men of family to travel to com- 
plete their education. It was expensive education, 
for the conditions of travel were such that the 
young man had to be accompanied by a tutor and 
by servants. The only means of transportation 
were horses for land travel and boats where water- 
ways were available. Yojing men, and older men 
who could stand it, rode horseback day after day. 
The letters of the poet, Francis Davison, to his 
father, Secretary Davison, make known what diffi- 
culties the sons of gentlemen met with when 


travelling like noblemen. Anthony Bacon's long 
travels so seriously embarrassed his estate that he 
never afterwards was out of debt. During these 
travels he found himself, in 1582, in Bordeaux, 
and there he formed a friendship with the Sieur 
de Montaigne. At that time about a year had 
passed since Montaigne's return from a seventeen 
months' tour through France, Germany, Switzer- 
land, and Italy. The young traveller and the older 
one must have exchanged many pleasant memories 
of places, persons, and things. Montaigne, keeping 
a diary, and less interested in sights than in the 
ways of life of foreign folk, their social and politi- 
cal institutions, was such a traveller as Bacon 
would have been, if it had been his fortune to 
travel in mature years. Of Englishmen, the late 
Elizabethan, John Evelyn, cultivated, observant, 
tolerant, is also of the sort. But no Elizabethan 
traveller is merely chatty. Fynes Moryson's Itin- 
erary and Coryats Crudities, in spite of its quips 
and cranks, are valuable records of travel under 
Elizabeth and James. 

In the essay Of Studies a lifelong student de- 
scribes his craft. "He was no plodder upon 
bool^s, " writes his chaplain. Dr. Rawley, "though 
he read much, and that with great judgment, and 
rejection of impertinences incident to many au- 
thors; for he would ever interlace a moderate re- 
laxation of his mind with his studies, as walking, 
or taking the air abroad in his coach, or some other 
befitting recreation [in the Latin version Rawley 
adds 'gentle exercise on horseback and playing 


at bowk'] and yet he would lose no time, inas- 
much as upon his first and immediate return he 
would fall to reading again, and so suffer no mo- 
ment of time to slip from him without some pres- 
ent improvement. It may well be that the subject 
Of Studies was the one that revolved longest in 
Bacon 's mind, for it is the first essay of the edition 
of 1597, where it consists of eleven sentences only 
arranged in seven paragraphs, each formally iso- 
lated from the rest by the paragraph sign H. In 
the edition of 1625, Of Studies is number fifty. 
This original construction of detached sentences on 
a single theme accords with the first meaning of 
the word 'essay,' which Bacon in his 1597 title 
seems to have introduced into English, from Mon- 
taigne, though it was quite in character for him to 
cite a favorite Latin classic to support his use of 
the term. In the draft of the dedication of the 
second edition of the Essays, 1607-1612, to Prince 
Henry, not used on account of the death of the 
prince and never printed by Bacon, he says he had 
chosen "to write certaine breif notes, sett downe 
rather significantlye, then curiously, which I have 
called Essaies; The word is late, but the thing is 
auncient. For Senecaes Epistles to Lucilius; yf 
one marke them well, are but Essaies,— That is dis- 
persed Meditacions. " Dr. Johnson's definition of 
'essay,' in 1755, is "an irregular undigested 
piece. ' ' 

It is extremely interesting to observe the growth 
of the original ten essays through the second edi- 
tion to the third. It will be seen that as Bacon's 


literary style developed the thought of the earliest 
essays does not materially change in the second edi- 
tion, but that it is here and there expanded by a 
qualifying idea or by an apt illustration. For ex- 
ample, the apothegms of the last paragraph of 
Studies, of 1597, "Histories make men wise. Poets 
wittie, ' ' etc., is enlarged in 1612 by the simile com- 
paring the effect of study upon the mind to that of 
exercise upon the body. The edition of 1625 sent 
forth the ten early essays expanded to nearly dou- 
ble their original size, while some of the essays of 
1612 were entirely rewritten, notably the essay 
Of Friendship. 

"When Bacon expanded a subject the method that 
came most natural to him was that of the scientist, 
by analysis and contrast. Friendship resolves it- 
self for him into three principal "fruits," "peace 
in the affections," "support of the judgment," 
and "aid and comfort in action." The puzzling 
degrees of dissimulation he describes. Of Simula- 
tion and Dissimulation, remind one of the ex- 
cellent fooling of Touchstone on how to "quarrel 
in print, by the book," or the seven degrees of 
lies. The essay Of Adversity is merely a series of 
antitheses, an oracular list of pros and cons. It 
might have been composed by drawing up on oppo- 
site pages a debit and credit account of life. Again, 
Bacon's choice of abstract subjects to write upon 
is in keeping with the analytic character of his 
mind. To choose a general theme, like "Truth" or 
"Death" or "Praise," and to say something upon 
it which is at once worth while and new can be 


done by a great writer only. To express a new and 
valuable thought in language that combines at once 
the qualities of simplicity, precision, dignity, and 
universality can be done by a very great writer 
only. That feat Bacon accomplished, best of Eng- 

When one examines Bacon 's literary style as the 
outcome of his reading and study, it presents the 
same anomaly as his moral character. He was a 
diligent reader of Cicero, and he had so little faith 
in the English language that he had his Essays 
translated into Latin, to preserve them in what he 
called "the universal language." But the Essays 
"come home to men's business and bosoms" pre- 
cisely because in forming his English style Bacon 
is not Ciceronian and rhetorical. He quotes a pun 
of Caesar's and one of his apothegms, but nothing 
more; he does not mention Catullus; and yet in 
English, Bacon displays the same quality of style 
that distinguishes the Commentaries of Caesar and 
the lyric poetry of Catullus. It is the Attic style, 
which aims at idiomatic purity, not only in choice 
of words, but also in a simple and even severe cor- 
rectness of construction, urbanitas, as the Latin 
says. Dr. Rawley tells us that Bacon was always 
seeking the "clear" word and could not but be 
' ' polite, ' ' that is, urbane. In hitting upon just the 
right word, Bacon exhibits everywhere a mastery 
of his art that is as subtle as it is inimitable. No- 
tice the emotional tone of the word 'reverend' in 
"it is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or 
building not in decay;" so 'strangely' in "it 


draws the eye strangely" is fairly hypnotic in sug- 
gestion. Of beautiful and striking antitheses Ba- ' 
con is full, like "for if a man can he partaker of 
God's theatre, he shall likewise be partaker of 
God 's rest. ' ' It adds much to the pleasure of read- 
ing Bacon's Essays to be sensitive to the fulness 
and nicety of meaning of the well chosen words 
used, v' Discretion of speech," says Bacon in Of 
Discourse, "is more than eloquence; and to speak 
agreeably to him with whom we deal, is more 
than to speak in good words, or in good order." 
This principle, in the stylistic code of the Atticists, 
is the conversational tone, the loqui of Caesar, not 
the dicere of Cicero. It is vastly more difficult 
to put elegance and dignity and weight into con- 
versational language, than to write with rhetorical 
flourishes, to express the thought in fine language 
merely. It can be accomplished, as Bacon accom- 
plished it, by taking pains always.) Dr. Eawley 
goes on, — "Neither was he given to any light con- 
ceits, or descanting upon words, but did ever pur- 
posely and industriously avoid them; for he held 
such things to be but digressions or diversions from 
the scope intended, and to derogate from the weight 
and dignity of the style." 

The Attic style is particularly hard to write in 
English, because English is naturally a discursive 
language. Bacon caught it in the first place from 
the happy accident of being an Elizabethan. 
Again, Bacon's mind was a thoroughly logical one. 
Every new acquisition of its full content fell into 
its proper place with great distinctness. Lastly, 


Bacon was a Latinist, and Latin is the one lan- 
guage, ancient or modern, that can say the most 
in the fewest words. 

The Roman Atticist who most affected Bacon's 
style is his favorite philosophical historian, Taci- 
tus. As stylists the likenesses and differences be- 
tween Tacitus and Bacon are of interest. Both wri- 
ters were keen observers of men and things, the 
minds of both were naturally analytic, both pos- 
sessed the faculty of crystallizing psychological or 
ethical or general truths in pointed epigrams or 
well-balanced antitheses. Bacon is fond of quoting 
from Tacitus the brief and telling sentences in 
which he summed up the character of a man, or the 
tone of an era. On the other hand, .Bacon care- 
fully avoided the rhetorical faults which lay Taci- 
tus 's style open to the charge of occasional ob- 
scurity. Bacon did not coin words, neither did he 
put new meaning into old words, nor use rare and 
uncommon expressions. He has no tricks of singu- 
larity. His is an art so bare and open that it even 
suggests no art, stylelessness. Instead of the la- 
bored obscurity here and there in Tacitus, Bacon's 
style is illuminated by the play of a great imagina- 
tion, which suggested to him now a picturesque 
word, and now a striking comparison. Finally, 
Tacitus lived in the decline of an era, and his pre- 
vailing tone is gray and pessimistic. Over Bacon's 
style there rests the serenity of philosophic calm. 
The English Tacitus was born in a great age, and 
he was a lover of his fellow-men. 

As to specific points of style, the most casual 


reader cannot but notioe Bacon's manner of 
introduction. It is that of a practised debater. 
Bacon is a good opener. Many of the opening 
sentences arrest attention at once, as it was un- 
doubtedly intended they should. Sometimes the 
thought is expressed in an aphoristic figure, as, 
"Eevenge is a kind of wild justice," Of Revenge. 
Sometimes it is an apt quotation, like "What is 
truth? said jesting Pilate," Of Truth. Sometimes 
it is a great thought inimitably set in speech. 
"God Almighty first planted a garden," is the 
jewel-like sentence that opens the essay Of Oar- 
dens. ""; When the weary wayfarer sees that le- 
gend shining resplendent over the gate of an old- 
time garden, he must needs enter in to refresh his 

As has been said, Bacon's model for brief and 
pointed expression is Tacitus, whom he had read 
"wholly, and with diligence and attention." Taci- 
tus more than any other author contributed to the 
swiftness and philosophic range of Bacon's 
thought, and the other classical writers who helped 
to make him "a full man," stand, after Tacitus, 
probably in this order, Cicero, Seneca, Plutarch, 
Livy, Vergil, Ovid, the two Plinies, Suetonius, 
Lucretius, Lucian, Caesar, Lucan, Plautus, Terence, 
Horace, Martial, Plato, Homer, Herodotus and 
Aristotle. The Greeks make way for the Eomans in 
this list, both in number and in frequency of quota- 
tion. Plutarch was a favorite Greek author with 
Bacon, as he was with Shakspere and the other 
Elizabethans. There are two reasons for the popu- 


larity of Plutarch at that time. The active and in- 
quiring minds of the Elizabethans enjoyed Plutarch 
as an all-round man. He satisfied their intellectual 
curiosity on many points. Besides, Plutarch was the 
most fortunate of the Greeks in contemporary 
translation. Thomas North's translation of Plu- 
tarch, from the French of Jacques Amyot, was 
called The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Bo- 
mans, and came out in 1579, with a dedication to 
Queen Elizabeth. It was written in simple, idio- 
matic, picturesque prose, the best English proSe 
that had been written up to that time. As is well 
known. North's Plutarch was Shakspere's store- 
house of classical learning. Page after page of the 
'lives' of Caesar, Brutus, Antony, and Coriolanus 
in Shakspere is simply the noble English of North's 
narrative animated with the life and play of dia- 
logue. North's masterly manner in prose was to 
develop into Bacon himself and into the translators 
of the Authorized Version of the Bible. Bacon read 
Greek and may have quoted the Plutarch's Lives 
from that reading, but it is more than likely that he 
used one of the four editions of North's translations 
that appeared during his lifetime. He was cer- 
tainly familiar with The Philosophic, commonly 
called the Morals, written by the learned philoso- 
pher Plutarch, and translated from the Greek, in 
1603, by Philemon Holland, with a dedication to 
James I. 

In general reading. Bacon quotes of the Fathers, 
St. Augustine, Of Truth, and St. Bernard, Of 
Unity in Religion and Of Atheism. Of French- 


men, lie alludes to Rabelais as "a master of scoff- 
ing" in Of Unity in Religion. The story of 
Charles the Bold in Of Friendship Bacon took 
from Thomas Danett's admirable English trans- 
lation, The Historie of Philip de .Commines, 
Knight, Lord of Argenton, which was published in 
1601, but is dedicated to his uncle. Lord Burghley, 
under date "1 Nov. 1596." Elsewhere in the ^s- 
says, Bacon shows acquaintance with Comines's 
'History of Louis XI,' a serene, dispassionate, 
philosophical account of that Machiavellian pruice. 
Comines, who has been described as "as humane 
as the ancients and almost as wise as Tacitus him- 
self," was a historian after Bacon's own heart. 
Besides the 'pretty' saying about truth and his title. 
Bacon adopted from Montaigne the idea of popular- 
izing moral philosophy. Montaigne had discoursed 
delightfully of the philosophy of common things 
for Frenchmen. He would do the same for Eng- 
lishmen, and he did it, but the French and English 
manner differ as the poles. Montaigne's reflections 
on life centre in his own individuality. For- 
tunately, it was a great and original individuality, 
diseipliued by the conduct of affairs, and cultivated 
by books and society and travel. With that equip- 
ment, Montaigne tells us from his tower what he 
thought of life. He is garrulous, he is personal, 
painfully personal at times, he is familiar, "the 
intimate friend of us all," as Sainte-Beuve said. 
Bacon's philosophy of life is nearly as impersonal 
as Shakspere's; it is brief, almost blunt; it has a 
remote air, as if Seneca had indeed inspired it. 


The love of classical learning, breadth of view, 
benevolence, and wit are qualities which distin- 
guish alike the essays of Michel de Montaigne and 
Francis Bacon. 

Montaigne observes of the moral insensibility of 
Francesco Guicciardini, his cold, passionless man- 
ner of depicting a great national tragedy, the de- 
cline and fall of his own country after the French 
invasion of 1494, "among the many motives and 
counsels on which he adjudicates, he never attri- 
butes any one of them to virtue, religion, or con- 
science, as if all these were quite extinct in the 
world." Bacon had doubtless read Montaigne's 
opinion of Guicciardini, in the second book of his 
Essais. He had imdoubtedly read Guicciardini 's 
L'historia d'italia, either in the original, or what 
is more likely, in the translation of Geoffrey Fen- 
ton, The Historie of Guicciardin (1579). Fenton's 
Guicciardini was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, 
and was a popular translation from the Italian, 
running to three editions during her reign and one 
in King James's time. There is a certain likeness 
between Guicciardini and Bacon in both career 
and character. Benedetto Varchi, his contempo- 
rary and fellow-historian, writes of Guicciardini,— 
"Messer Francesco, besides his noble birth, his 
riches and his academical degree, and besides hav- 
ing been Governor and Viceroy of the Pope, was 
highly esteemed and enjoyed a great reputation; 
not only for his knowledge, but for his great prac- 
tical acquaintance with the affairs of the world 
and the actions of men. Of such he would dis- 


course admirably, and his judgment was sound. 
But his conduct did not tally with his speech ; be- 
ing by nature proud and curt, he was swayed 
sometimes by ambition, but oftener by avarice, in 
a manner unbecoming to a well-bred and modest 
man. ' ' Bacon was proud, but not curt, nor was he 
avaricious, though the love of what money can buy 
was strong in him. Otherwise, Varchi's character 
of Guicciardini might do for Bacon set down in 
Italy. Like Bacon, Guicciardini was keenly ob- 
servant, he had the habit of recording his impres- 
sions of men and things, and it was his mental turn 
to record them in the form of aphorisms. But 
Guicciardini 's view was narrow, as Montaigne 
says, and he had not the ability to relate and com- 
bine facts on broad general principles ; his history 
is therefore rather the memoranda and maxims of 
a statesman, scientifically arranged, than a philo- 
sophical summing up of human affairs. Nor had 
Guicciardini a literary style. He is more of a 
thinker than an author. 

In the essay Of Superstition Bacon quotes 
from the Historia del Concilio Tridentino, by the 
Venetian, Fra Paolo Sarpi, probably from the con- 
temporary translation of Sir Nathaniel Brent, 
but the Italian whom Bacon knew best was Machia- 
veUi. Though the great Florentine is quoted but 
four times, three times only by name, yet many of 
the Essays should be read in connection with 
Machiavelli 's Discorsi sopra La Prima Deca di T. 
Livio. The last essay. Of Vicissitude of Things, 
was clearly suggested by Book II, Chapter 5, 



of Machiavelli 's work, which is on the subject ' ' That 
Deluges, Pestilences, the change of Religion and 
Languages, and other accidents, in a manner ex- 
tinguish the memory of many things. ' ' Machia- 
velli 's Discourses on Livy was facile princeps the 
history that made Bacon wise. From abstract 
principles in the sphere of government, Machiavelli 
appealed to experience; for authority as the test 
of truth, he substituted scientific facts. This prac- 
tical method of writing history Bacon approved of 
highly. "We are much beholden," he says, "to 
Machiavel and others that wrote what men do, and 
not what they ought to do." The principle thus 
clearly stated explains such essays as, Of Cunning, 
Of Wisdom for a Man's Self, and the like. 

What is called Bacon 'sMachiavellism has been the 
subject of much controversy and much misunder- 
standing. It seems to make it well-nigh impossible 
for historians of letters to write of him without tak- 
ing sides. Pope's epigram, "the wisest, brightest, 
meanest of mankind," is said to have been the in- 
spiration of Macaulay's well-known essay. Lord 
Bacon. R. W. Church, in English Men of Letters, 
and E. A. Abbott, one of the best of recent editors 
of the Essays, are both severe critics of Bacon. 
James Spedding devoted his life to the defence and 
succeeded in clarifying many of the points at 
•issue. The subject can scarcely be presented bet- 
ter to the student, at first hand, and in brief com- 
pass, than by suggesting the reading of the essay 
Of Gunning in immediate connection with that 
Of Fortune. Bacon believed, as he says, that 


every man is the architect of his own fortune. 
That is a truism. The experience of men in every 
land and at all times confirms it. The older de- 
mocracy of the French Revolution and of the 
Signers cherished the idea as almost inspired doc- 
trine. The difBculty is that moral ideas develop 
and change. rBacon, though a religious man, was 
essentially not a moralist. Like MachiaveUi, but 
with the sea change from Italy to England, he ac- 
cepted the moral and religious ideas of his time. 
His religious writings show that by preference he 
always took the middle course. In morals. Bacon's 
ideas combine curiously the enlightened thought 
of pagan Greece and Rome with the Christian 
ethics of the Bible. But this is theory with him; 
in practice he did not rise above the political mo- 
rality of his time. He fell below it at the last. In 
that morality the distinction between right and 
wrong in conduct was neither so sharply nor so 
widely drawn as now. The development of moral 
ideas and the ethical point of view should be factors 
in any judgment of the actions of men and women 
of former times. The same justice which underlies 
James Spedding's eminently sane judgment of 
Bacon, John Morley extended to MachiaveUi in his 
brilliant Romanes Lecture of 1897. 

When we consider the great drama of the Eliza- 
bethan age, the bulk of it running to some fifteen 
hundred plays, its popularity, its reflection of con- 
temporary life at all angles, its excellence and the 
high average of ability of the writers who were pro- 
ducing it, and Shakspere one of them, it is little 


short of astounding that /nowhere throughout the 
lifty-eight essays does Bacon either quote a thought 
from the drama or mention a single dramatist. His 
silence is all the more extraordinary from the fact 
that he was himself concerned in the representa- 
tion of six masques, the first as a Gray's Inn man 
of twenty-five and the last so late in life as his At- 
torney-Generalship, when he was fifty-two years 
old. Various explanations may be offered. Bacon 
was born in Court circles and was a lifelong cour- ' 
tier. Players were held in such contempt as to be 
classed legally with vagabonds. We know that 
Shakspere was sensitive to the degradation of his 
calling in public opinion, 

"My nature is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand." 

Francis Beaumont was born a gentleman, and his 
name does not appear on the title-page of any play of 
his published during his lifetime. Further, Bacon 
was a busy man, probably occupied all day and 
every day with law and politics, and by night with 
his studies and authorship. He worked too hard 
to be much of a play-goer, even if he had been in- 
clined to spend his afternoons at the theatres. 
Curious as the phenomenon is, nothing conceivable 
can better express the vitality and power of English 
literature than that it added to the thought of the 
world two such productions as the Essays of Bacon 
and the plays of Shakspere, the work of two men 
who walked the streets of London together for the 
span of some thirty years, so far as we know, each 


unknown personally to the other.} One person 
made a link between them, the Earl of Southamp- 
ton, to whom Shakspere dedicated Venus and 
Adonis, in 1593, 'the first heir of his invention.' 
Five years later Southampton lost the Queen's fa- 
vor by marrying without her consent, Elizabeth 
Vernon, the Earl of Essex's cousin. He was 
obliged to absent himself from Court, and we hear 
of him in 1599 as "passing his time in London 
merely in going to plays every day. ' ' Bacon knew 
Southampton as a friend to the Earl of Essex, and 
acted as Queen 's counsel in prosecuting him for his 
complicity in Essex's treasonable practices. Later 
in James the First's reign, Bacon was associated 
with the Earl of Southampton on the board of gov- 
ernors of the South Virgiaia Company. But 
Southampton would seem not to have forgotten 
Bacon's share in Essex's death and his own im- 
prisonment, for when Lord Chancellor Bacon was 
charged with corruption before the House of Lords, 
it was the Earl of Southampton who drove the 
charges home by insisting on a particular confes- 
sion. The patron of Shakspere in youth did not 
befriend Bacon in age. 

Doubtless a sufficient explanation of Bacon's 
unconsciousness of the local drama that was being 
written and acted all about him is that as a reader 
he preferred the classics. Nor, indeed, was he an 
omnivorous reader, though he had read much. He 
was a man who read the best books and read them 
thoroughly. Moreover, as a man of affairs rather 
than a mere bookish person, he thought about what 


he read and meditated upon it.) But the books that 
he read most and knew best were the works of Latin 
authors; he wrote Latin fluently, he thought in 
Latin, as his writings in both Latin and English 
abundantly show. The Latin of Bacon is partly 
his individual bent and partly the tenor of his age. 
Latin has come into English mainly in two great 
streams, through the French of the Norman con- 
quest and directly from the revival of learning, 
and just as one must" read Chaucer to understand 
the French influence, so Bacon best represents the 
learned borrowing of Latin of the Renaissance. 
Bacon was the most learned man of Elizabethan 
times, and the Elizabethan time was learned. To 
learn to read then was to learn to read Latin. Boys 
in school learned their grammar from Latin gram- 
mars, as Shakspere shows that he did in the 
King's New School of Stratford-upon-Avon, and 
a very good way to learn grammar it is. By the 
time the boy had completed his university course, 
if he had made good use of his time, Latin had be- 
come to him a second vernacular. If the young 
man was the son of a landed proprietor and stayed 
at home, his household accounts were kept in Latin. 
If he entered one of the learned professions, the 
law, or the church, or medicine, he had to draw up 
legal documents in Latin, or to read theology in 
Latin, or to study medical science written in Latin. 
If he was ambitious to become an author, he 
thought he must write his books in Latin. Roger 
Ascham, dedicating his Toxophilus to Henry VIII, 
in 1545, remarked that it would have been easier, 


and more , suitable to his scholar's profession, to 
have written the book in Latin or Greek. A young 
man destined for the service of the state^ as Bacon 
was, found Latin the language of diplomacy and 
official business. With a Latin training like this, 
possessed of an unusually bright mind, and' a 
scholar by instinct, Bacon remained throughout his 
life singularly in touch with the great Roman 

It is a matter of common observation that the 
English language from century to century swings 
like a great pendulum to and fro between its 
two elements, Teutonic and Eomance. In Eliz- 
abeth's time the two forces were probably nearer 
equilibrium than they have ever been, before or 
since. This is why the Authorized Version of the 
Bible, and Shakspere's plays, and Bacon's Essays 
are the great conservators of the English speech. 
The bones of English are in them, and in good 
style, as in good portraiture or good sculpture, the 
bones underneath must show. Of the three. Bacon 
is consciously the most Latinized. For this reason, 
if one wishes to learn something of the Latin in 
English, either its prevalence or its stylistic effect. 
Bacon is the best English classic to study. Apart 
from the general question of style already dis- 
cussed. Bacon's Latinity shows itself in the Essays 
mainly in his Latin paraphrases, in the use of Eng- 
lish words in their Latin senses (thinking in 
Latin), in the frequent quotation of Latin prov- 
erbs, and even of a Latin pun. Any one of Bacon 's 
Latin paraphrases will illustrate what a hold on 


the English language it is to have Latin for a sec- 
ond vernacular. One of the most remarkable ex- 
amples is the summing up of Livy's comment on 
Scipio Africanus Major at the end of the essay Of 
Youth and J.gre,— "Livy saith, in effect, VIU- 
ma primis cedebant," 'the last fell short of the 
first.' Bacon's three Latin words, recollected from 
Ovid, condense fourteen of Livy's and Livy fur- 
nished not one of the three. An interesting varia- 
tion between Bacon 's Latin and that of his original 
occurs at the close of the essay Of Cunning. Quot- 
ing Proverbs xiv. 8, — "The wisdom of the pru- 
dent is to understand his way: but the folly of 
fools is deceit," from his recollection of the Vul- 
gate, he writes, "Salomon saith, Prudens advertit 
ad gressus sues: stultus divertit ad dolos." The 
Vulgate reads, Sapientia callidi est intelligere viam 
suam: et imprudentia stultorum errans. Here 
Bacon says in nine Latin words what the Vulgate 
says in ten, and all of his words are different but 
one, and that one appears in a different form. It 
is illuminating to observe the master of a great 
language wielding another great language and so 
moulding it to his will as to compel it to assume 
new and strange forms. 

There is no surer test of command over a foreign 
language than appreciation of its wit. ' ' Caesar did 
himself infinite hurt in that speech — 'Sylla nesci- 
vit literas, nan potuit dictare,' " says Bacon, writ- 
ing on so serious a subject as Of Seditions and 
Troubles. The pun here is of that subtle sort that 
cuts both ways when the edges meet, like the blades 


of a pair of sharp scissors. If Caesar did not utter 
this one, it is worthy of him. Bacon thought so, 
too, and recorded Caesar's witticism among his 
Apophthegmes New and Old, with the regret ex- 
pressed in the preface, — "It is a pitie his Booke is 
lost : for I imagine they were collected, with Judge- 
ment and Choice." 

All his life Bacon was a collector of pointed say- 
ings, not only apothegms but proverbs. In part 
this was a personal inclination towards the sim- 
plest and clearest expression of thought, in part it 
was the Elizabethans cultivating brevity as the 
soul of wit. Numerous books of "prittie conceites" 
and many strings of proverbs attest their fond- 
ness for short, pithy sayings, grave and gay. "I 
hold the entry of commonplaces to be a matter of 
great use and essence in studying," says Bacon. 
The habit of jotting down ideas on all sorts of sub- 
jects, and in the fewest possible words, explains 
in some measure how Bacon came by that charac- 
teristic of his style which makes so many of his sen- 
tences represent the compressed essence of things. 
Sometimes the thought is so packed that the lan- 
guage may fairly be said to give way, the sentence, 
like an ill-constructed building, being unable to bear 
the pressure put upon it; for example, "but if the 
force of custom, simple and separate, be great, the 
force of custom, copulate and conjoined and col- 
legiate, is far greater," Of Custom and Educa- 
tion. A similar expression, packed to the point of 
clumsiness, is "but no receipt openeth the heart 
but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, 


joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and what- 
ever lieth upon the heart to oppress it," Of Friend- 
ship. The whole essay Of Studies illustrates 
this manner of composition. .The aphoristic sen- 
tences are simply packed closely one upon another, 
like gold sovereigns in a bag. The separate pieces 
of money have the continuity of being coin of the 
realm, but by the theory of chances they might be 
packed in an infinite variety of ways. In form, 
the essay is crude, styleless; in effect, it is direct, 
keen as a rapier's thrust. 

Besides translated proverbs. Bacon quotes prov- 
erbs in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. And 
always, as he puts it, the proverb "pierces the knot 
in the business." Compare Cor ne edito, 'eat not 
the heart,' Of Friendship; In node, consilium,' \h& 
night brings counsel,' as we say colloquially, sleep 
over it. Of Counsel; Beaucoup de bruit, peu de 
fruit, 'much bruit, little fruit,' Of Vain- Glory; 
Mi venga la muerte de Spagna, " 'let my death 
come from Spain,' for then it will be sure to 
be long in coming," Of Dispatch. This same es- 
say contains the well-known English proverb, 
'the more haste, the less speed,' ia the form 
of Bacon's apothegm about his diplomatic chief, 
Sir Amias Paulet, who was wont to say, "Stay a 
little, that we may make an end the sooner." But 
the bulk of proverbs in English throughout the 
Essays are quoted from the wisdom of the Bible, 
both the old Testament and New. 
; The Bible is directly quoted in thirty-four of the 
fifty-eight essays, and if to these thirty-four essays 



there is added those in which Bacon's language 
echoes Biblical thought, the number would be con- 
siderably greater. Bacon's familiarity with the 
Bible was great and at the same time catholic in 
its range. The only parts of it that did not occur 
to him for apt quotation were the boobs dealing 
with Jewish ceremonial law, the minor prophets, 
and the general epistles. The reading is more in- 
clusive, but it is not unlike the list of books Rus- 
kin gives in Praeterita as those his mother required 
him largely to commit to memory, while he read 
the Bible through every year from Genesis to the 
Apocalypse. "Once knowing," says Euskin, "the 
32d of Deuteronomy, the 119th Psalm, the 15th 
of 1st Corinthians, the Sermon on the Mount, and 
most of the Apocalypse, every syllable by heart, 
and having a way of thinking with myself what 
words meant, it was not possible for me, even in 
the foolishest times of youth, to write entirely su- 
perficial or formal English." It cannot be said 
that Bacon's literary style owes as much to the Bi- 
ble as that of Ruskin, a conscious stylist, but^in 
the Bible he undoubtedly found that union of nat- 
uralness and dignity which is so inimitably his 
own. ' fit has been suggested as one explanation of 
the noble English of the Bible that the translators 
of the Authorized Version had been brought up in 
the old religion, and that in consequence their Eng- 
lish unconsciously caught and retained something 
of the music of the Latin service, as they had often 
heard it reverberating from hymn and chant 
through the lofty arches and down the long aisles- 
g Ixxxiz 


of the cathedrals of England.; Bacon's frequent 
quotations from the Vulgate show that he read 
the Bible in Latin habitually. Not seldom he 
quotes the Vulgate from memory, varying consid- 
erably from the original, just as he cites the sense 
of passages from Cicero and Livy. Even when he 
cites the Bible in English, it would seem that he 
had oftener in mind the Vulgate, rather than the 
Authorized Version of his later years.) Ecclesiastes 
V. ii, "Where much is, there are many to consume 
it; and what hath the owner but the sight of it 
with his eyes?" is briefer and more picturesque 
in the essay Of RicJies than in the Authorized 
Version. On the other hand, Bacon's "Salomon 
saith. Riches are as a strong hold in the imagina- 
tion of the rich man ' ' has become a proverb in the 
English of the translators, "The rich man's wealth 
is his strong city." {Proverbs x. 15.) 
("One reason why Bacon 's Essays, one of the most 
learned works in English, is so easy to read and to 
understand, is that the language used is that of the 
Bible both in vocabulary and construction!) The 
words 'marvel' meaning 'to wonder,' 'wax,' 'to 
grow,' 'profit,' 'to improve,' need no explanation 
to the reader of the Authorized Version. So, 
'withe,' 'a willow twig,' Of Custom and Educa- 
tion, is familiar from the story of Samson. 
These and many others are Bible words in Bible 
meaning, and their construction is in simplest 
terms. (The object of the translators was to put the 
Bible into the hands of the plain man, so that he 
could read it and understand it for himself. They 


therefore purposely used the plain man's language, 
refining it only as language is naturally refined by 
education and good breeding.^' 

The only conscious principle of style that Bacon^ 
followed is the same. "In the composing of his 
books," says Dr. Eawley, "he did rather drive at a 
masculine and clear expression than at any fineness 
or affectation of phrases, and would often ask if 
the meaning were expressed plainly enough, as be- 
ing one that accounted words to be but subservient 
or ministerial to matter, and not the principal." 

As in the Bible, English folk-lore is embedded 
in Bacon's style. Twice, in Of Friendship and 
Of Nature in Men, he illustrates a point by means 
of the rustic's advice to his fellow in anger, 
to "say over the four and twenty letters." The 
use of the curious old expression "to turn the cat 
in the pan," Of Cunning, (that is, to reverse 
the order of things dexterously, to change sides,) 
by Sir Walter Scott, in Old Mortality (XXXV), 
suggests the point that various words and expres- 
sions that have gone out of English since Bacon's 
time still survive in the picturesque Scottish ver- 
nacular. In this same essay on Cunning, Bacon 
speaks of the "falls of business," meaning its 
'chances.' That is what Burns means when in the 
Address to the Deil, he cries out, "Black be your 

Simplicity, or homeliness, in its fine old sense, is 
a marked characteristic of Bacon's imagery. No- 
tice the homely words, that is to say, the words of 
home, in the well-known figure,— "Some books are 


to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few 
to be chewed and digested," Of Studies. So he 
writes, "Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats 
amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight," Of Sus- 
picion. Another figure brings into mind the 
recollection of some low-studded Elizabethan room, 
wainscoted and ceiled with quartered oak. The 
picture is all the more vivid, because it is so unex- 
pected, as if a curtain suddenly drawn aside should 
give a glimpse through a window where no window 
was known to be. Speaking of the secure fame of 
Cicero, Of Vain- Glory, he says almost casu- 
ally that vanity contributed to it, "like unto var- 
nish, that maketh ceilings not only shine, but last. ^ 
Bacon was fond of such sharp breaks in thoughy. 
They arrested attention. The stuff, however, of 
this image was a part of his daily life. "He seated 
himseK, for the commodity of his studies and prac- 
tice, amongst the Honourable Society of Gray's- 
Inn ; of which House he was a member : where he 
erected that elegant pile or structure, commonly 
known by the name of The Lord Bacon's Lodgings, 
which he inhabited, by turns, the most part of his 
life (some few years only excepted) unto his dying 
day." (Dr. Rawley.) Picture to yourself Bacon, 
the lifelong student, in his chambers. The harass- 
ing business of the day in the House of Commons 
or in attendance at Court is done, and he has re- 
tired to his writing-room to converse with the 
men of old he loved so well. He reads the vain 
Cicero or the sententious Tacitus, he sets down in 
his common-place book what he has learned from 


their discourse. Perhaps of a summer evening a 
wandering bat darts in at the open window to dis- 
turb the vigil. Late, too late for sound health, he 
lies down on his couch, and when he wakes in the 
broad light of fuU day, his eyes open on the var- 
nished wooden ceiling of a large, low bedroom, 
(feacon was no poet. His imagery is not that of a 
transcendent imagination playing over a subject 
and illuminating it here and there with brilliant 
flashes of light. But Bacon's mind was poetic, and 
he had the gift, which while it is not so rare as the 
transcendent imagination, is yet very rare, the gift 
of seeing analogies in common things. His similes 
and metaphors are the hardy flowers that grow by 
the wayside for any one to pluck. A whole body of 
them come from contemporary sports, cards, bowls, 
horsemanship. A cunning man may be able to 
"pack the cards" and yet not play weU; so cun- 
ning men who understand persons rather than mat- 
ters "are good but in their own alley," Of Cun- 
ning. Of a delicate constitution, he dabbled 
perforce in medicine, and another set of tropes re- 
veal the curious materia medica of Tudor times, — 
"You may take sarza to open the liver, steel to 
open the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, 
castoreum for the brain ; but no receipt openeth the 
heart but a true friend," Of Friendship. Finally, 
the freshness of much of Bacon's imagery is 
delightful, like "Charity wiU hardly water the 
groimd where it must first fill a pool," Of Mar- 
riage and Single Life. Men who hold on to busi- 
ness with failing powers are "like old towns- 


men, that will pe still sitting at their street door, 
though thereby they oiifer age to scorn," Of 
Great Place. In manufactures and commerce he 
thought the Low Countries had "the best mines 
above ground in the world," Of Seditions and 
Troubles. And what a splendid metaphor that ds 
in Of Vicissitude of Things,— "The great wind- 
ing-sheets that bury all things in oblivion are 
two; deluges and earthquakes." The image here 
transcends the thought and as artistry produces 
upon the mind the same effect in kind as the 

^ cataclysm itself. The force of language can no 

'farther go. 

I The combination of wisdom in thought and brev- 
ity and picturesqueness in form, what Lady Anne 
Bacon called her son's "enigmatic gilded writing," 
makes Bacon's Essays the most quotable prose in 
English. Sharing the world-wide fame of Shaks- 
pere in this respect, many of Bacon's words and 
phrases of singular beauty and power are now 
fast woven into the web of English speech. No 
other prose work is so often quoted or has furnished 
so many quotations, even for those persons who 
have never read the essa^in whole or in part. Not 
infrequently Bacon ,iSflm^ for the Bible, but more 
often he is confptinded byjthe unwary with Shaks- 
jere. Every^say is qjjmable, — 

'The viftue of prosperity is temperance, the 
virtils|»' is fortitude," Of Adversity. 
"Iris a poor centre of a man's actions, himself," 

-Of Wisdom for a Man's Self. 

"It hath been an opinion, that the French are 


wiser than they seem,' and the Spaniards seem 
wiser than they are, ' ' Of Seeming Wise. 

"In sickness, respect health principally; and in 
health, action," Of Regiment of Health. 

"For a crowd is not company, and faces are but 
a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cym- 
bal, where there is no love," Of Friendship. 

To vary Bacon, I have given the rule, if a man 
cannot find a bit of wisdom for himself, he may 
close the book. 

What kind of man was the writer of these Es- 
says? Politically, as was natural in a man of 
family bom and bred under the Tudor govern- 
ment, Bacon was an imperialist. His ideal was a 
strong, centralized government. He believed in 
rank and dignities, and thought ruling a natural 
function of the nobility. Though a contemporary 
of the young Oliver Cromwell, he was no democrat. 
Neither was Shakspere, bom a man of the people. 
But Bacon would hardly have pushed the doctrine 
of royal divine right to the breaking point. He 
would have made concessions to the rising com- 
monalty. Tolerance is a peculiarly attractive vir- 
tue and Bacon possessed it in a high degree. His 
wise prince is a sort of benevolent despot, a classi- 
cal despot humanized by the ideas of the Renais- 
sance. As to the conduct of life, there is much 
worldly wisdom inculcated in Bacon's maxims, 
some of which are frankly Machiavellian. Human 
nature is complex, and the bigger the man, the 
greater the complexity. ) The Essays are as surely 
the expression of a genuinely religious spirit, as 


of a worldly-wise one. Indeed, in spite of Bacon's 
errors of conduct, and however repellent Bacon's 
political trimming is to the straightforward man, 
his Essays bear the strongest possible testimony to 
the essential soundness of Bacon's moral character. 
A good man only could have written them. Hear 
the witness of Ben Jonson, as honest a man as ever 
lived,— "My conceit of his Person was never in- 
creased towards him, by his place, or honours. But 
I have, and doe reverence him for the greatnesse, 
that was only proper to himself e, in that hee seem'd 
to mee ever, by his worke one of the greatest men, 
and most worthy of admiration, that had beene in 
many Ages. In his adversity I ever prayed, that 
God would give him strength: for Greatnesse hee 
could not want. Neither could I condole in a word, 
or syllable for him ; as knowing no Accident could 
doe harme to vertue, but rather helpe to make it 
manifest." (Timber, or Discoveries. De augmen- 
tis scientiarum.) 









Printed by John KavuiAnd, for Hanna Babrett and Richard Whitakeb 

And are to be sold at the sign of the King's Head, in 

Paul's Cbnrcbyard. 



To the Eight Honourable my very good Lo. the 
Duke of Buckingham his Grace, Lo. High Ad- 
miral of England. 

Excellent Lo. 

Salomon says, A good name is as a precious ointment; 
and I assure myself, such will your Grace's name be 
with posterity. For your fortune and merit both 
have been eminent. And you have planted things 
that are Kke to last. I do now publish my Essays ; 
which, of all my other works have been most cur- 
rent ; for that, as it seems, they come home to men's 
business and bosoms. I have enlarged them both 
ia number and weight ; so that they are indeed a 
new work. I thought it therefore agreeable to my 
affection and obhgation to your Grace, to prefix 
your name before them, both in English and in 
Latin. For I do conceive that the Latin volume 
of them (being in the universal language) may last 
as long as books last. My Instauration I dedicated 
to the King; my History of Henry the Seventh 
(which I have now also translated into Latin), and 
my portions of Natural History, to the Prince ; and 
these I dedicate to your Grace; being of the 


best fruits that by the good enerease which God 
gives to my pen and labours I could yield. God 
lead your Grace by the hand. 

Your Grace's most obliged and 
faithful seruant, 




Of Truth.- 


Of Wisdom for a Man's 


Of Deaths 



Of Unity in Religion^ 


Of TuTiovations. 


Of Revenge,—- 


Of Dispatch. 


Of Adversity, 


Of Seeming Wise. 


Of Simulation and Dis- 


Of Friendship. 


Of Expense. 


Of Parents and CMl- 


Of the True Greatness 


of Kingdoms and 


Of Marriage and Single^ 




Of Regiment of Health. 


Of Envy. 


Of Suspicion^^ 


Of Love^-- 


Of Discourse 


Of Great Place.- 


Of Plantations. 


Of Boldness. 


Of Riches. 


Of Goodness, and Good- 


Of Prophecies. 

ness of Nature. 


Of Ambition. 


Of Nobility. 


Of Masks and Tri- 


Of Seditions and 




Of Nature ia Men. 


Of Atheisms 


Of Custom and Educa- 


Of Superstition. 



Of Travel..'^ 


Of Fortune. 


Of Empire. 


Of Usury. 


Of Counsel. 


Of Youth and Ag^.--^ 


Of Delays. 


Of Beauty^ 


Of Cunning. 


Of Deformity..' 


45. Of Building. ^3. Of Praise,--^ 

^6. Of Gardens..^ JA. Of Vain Glory. 

47. Of Negotiating. , 55. Of Honour and Eepu- 

AS. Of Followers and Friends^ tation. 

49. Of Suitors. 56. Of Judicature/^ 

J>Q. Of Studies^ ^7. Of Anger. 

51. Of Faction. 58. Of Vicissitude of 

52. Of Ceremonies and Ee- TMngs. 






I. Of Truth. 

What is Truth ? ^ said jesting Pilate ; and would 
not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that 
delight in giddiness ; and count it a bondage to fix 
a belief J 2 affecting^ free-will in thinking, as well as 
in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of 
that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discours- 
ing* wits which are of the same veins, though there 
be not so much blood in them as was in those of the 
ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour 
which men take in finding out of truth ; nor again 
that when it is found it imposeth^ upon men's 
thoughts; that doth bring lies in favour; but a 

* John xviii. 38. 

2 Bacon probably had in mind here the sceptical philosophy of 
Heraclitns of Ephesus, born about 535 B.C., died about 475 B.C. 
Pyrrho, 360( 1)-270( ?) B.C., and Carneades, 213(?)-129 B.C., 
maintained that certainty could not be afirmed about anything. The 
reference may be to Democritus, *the Abderite,' born about 460 
B.C., died about 357 B.C., called 'the laughing philosopher.' 

"Meat Seraclitua, an Hdeat Democritus? . . . shall I laugh with 
Democritus or weep with Seraclitus?" Robert Burton. The Anat- 
omy of Melancholy. Partition 3. Section 4. Member 1. Subsec- 
tion 3. 

^ Affect; To make a show of, be fond of. 

* Discoursing. Possibly in the sense of discursive; i.e. roving, 
unsettled. But the word may mean debating, arguing. 

" Impose, To exert an influence on. 



natural though corrapt love of the lie itself. One 
of the later school of the Grecians examineth the 
matter, and is at a stand to think what should 
be in it, that men should love lies, where neither 
they make for pleasure, as with poets,^ nor for ad- 
vantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's 
sake. But I cannot tell : this same truth is a naked 
and open day-light, that doth not shew the masks 
and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so 
stately and daintily^ as candle-lights. Truth may 
perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that sheweth 
best by day ; but it will not rise to the price of a 
diamond or carbuncle, that sheweth best in varied 
lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. 
Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out 
of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false 
valuations, imaginations as one would,^ and the Uke, 
but it would leave the minds of a number of men 
poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indis- 
position, and unpleasing to themselves? One of 
the Fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum 
dcemonum^ because it filleth the imagination; and 
yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is 
not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the 
lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the 
hurt; such as we spake of before. But howso- 

' "There should always be some foundation of fact for the most 
airy fabric, and pure invention is but the talent of a liar." Byron. 
Letter to John Murray. April 2, 1817. Letters and Journals. T. Moore. 

^ Daintily. Delicately, elegantly, graeefuUy. 

' As one would. That is, as one willed, or wished. The verb will 
has here its presentive sense, as in Philippians ii. 13, "For it is God 
which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." 

*Wine of devils. Used by St. Augustine, 354 — 430 A.D., Bishop 
of Hippo Begins in Numidia. The Confessions of Augustine. 
I. xvi. «6. 


ever^ these tilings are thus in men's depraved judg- 
ments and affections, yet truth, which only doth 
judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which 
is the love-making or wooing of it, the knowledge of 
truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of 
truth,wliich is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good 
of human nature. The fii'st creature of God, in the 
works of the days, was the light of the sense ; the 
last was the light of reason ; and his sabbath work 
ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First 
he breathed light upon the face of the matter or 
chaos ; then he breathed light into the face of man ; 
and still he breatheth and inspireth light into the 
face of his chosen. The poet that beautified the 
sect that was otherwise inferior to the rest,^ saith 
yet excellently well : It is a pleasure to stand upon 
the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure 
to stand in the mndow of a castle, and to see a battle 
and the adventures^ thereof below: but no pleasure is 
comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of 
Truth, (a hiU not to be commanded,* and where the 
air is always clear and serene, ) and to see the errors, 
and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale 
below; so^ always that this prospect^ be with pity, 

^Howsoever. Notwithstanding that, albeit. "And so will he do; 
for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him by some 
large jests he will make." 

Shakspere. Much Ado About Nothing, ii. 3. 

2 The poet is Titus Lucretius, born 99 or 98 B.C., died 55 B.C. 
The sect is the Epicureans. Bacon quotes the thought, not the exact 
language, of the beginning of the second book of Lueretius's De 
Rerum Natura. Compare the Advancement of Learning. I. viii. 5. 

•* Adventure. Chance, hap, luck, fortune. 

* In military tactics a high hill commands a lower one near it. 

° So, Provided, or on condition. 

'Prospect is active in sense, and means overlooking, looking down 


and not witli swelling or pride. Certainly, it is 
heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in 
charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles 
of truth.i 

To pass from theological and philosophical truth, 
to the truth of civil business ; it will be acknowl- 
edged even by those that practise it not, that clear 
and round^ dealing is the honour of man's nature ; 
and that mixture of falsehood is _like allav^ in coin 

of gold a nd silver, which ma-" ^ TuaTrP fTia mpfal wnrTr 

the better, but it' embaseth* it. For these winding 
and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent ; 
which goeth basely upon the belly,^ and not upon 
the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a 
man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. 
And therefore Montaigne^ saith prettily, when he 
inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should 
be such a disgrace and such an odious charge? 
Saith he. If it ie well weighed, to say that a man lieth, 

^ "The basis of all excellence is truth." Dr. Samuel Johnson. 
Life of Cowley. Edited by Mrs. A. Napier. Bohn. 1890. p. S. 
^ Round. Plain, downright, straightforward. 

*'I will a round, unvarnish'd tale deliTer 
Of my whole course of love." 

Shakspere. Othello, i. 3. 
' Allay. Old form of 'alloy,' an inferior metal mixed with one of 
greater value. 

"For fools are stubborn in their way, 
As coins are harden'd by th' allay." 
Samuel Butler. Eudibras. Part III. Canto II. 481-482. 

* Erribase. To reduce from a higher to a lower degree of worth or 
purity; to debase. 

" "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast 
done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of 
the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all 
the days of thy life." Genesis Hi. 14. 

» Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, the celebrated French essayist, was 
born in 1583 and died in 1592. The first edition of the Essais ap- 
peared in 1580. Montaigne's thought will be found in the Essais, 
II. 18, where he quotes Plutarch's Life of Lysander. 


is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God and 
a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and 
shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of false- 
hood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so 
highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal 
to call the judgments of G-od upon the generations 
of men ; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, 
he shall not find faith upon the earth?- 

II. Of Death. 

Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the 
dark; and as that natural fear in children is in- 
creased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the 
contemplation of death, as the wages of sin^ and 
passage to another world, is holy and religious ; but 
the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. 
Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mix- 
ture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read 
in some of the friars' books of mortification,^ that 
a man should think with himself what the pain is 
if he have but his finger's end pressed or tortured, 
and thereby imagine what the pains of death are, 
when the whole body is corrupted and dissolved ; 
when many times death passeth with less pain than 
the torture of a limb : for the most vita! parts are not 
the quickest of sense. And by him that spake only 

' "Nevertheless TfJieB-tte Son of man cometh, shall he find faith 
on the earth ?" Euke xviii. 8. 

' "For the wages of sin is death." Bomans vi. 23. 
* Mortification. Summation, penance. 


as a philosopher and natural man, it was well said, 
Pompa mortis magis terret, quam mors ipsa:^ Groans 
and convulsions, and a discoloured face, and friends 
weeping, and blacks,^ and obsequies, and the like, . 
shew death terrible. It is worthy the observing, 
that there is no passion in the mind of man so 
weak, but it mates' and masters the fear of death ; 
and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when 
a man hath so many attendants about him that can 
win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over 
death; Love slights it; Honour aspireth to it; 
Grief flieth to it ; Fear pre-occupateth* it ; nay we 
read, after Otho^ the emperor had slain himself, 
Pity (which is the tenderestof affections) provoked^ 
many to die, out of mere compassion to their sov- 
ereign, and as the truest sort of followers. Nay 
Seneca adds niceness and satiety: Cogita quamdiu 
eadem feceris ; mori velle,non tantum fortis, aut miser, 

'The surroundings of death strike more terror than death itself. 
L. Annaei Senecae ad Lucilium Epistularum MoraMurti Liber HI. 
Epistula III. Seneca lived 4 — 65 a.d. 

^ Blacks. Black clothing for mourning ; hangings oi black cloth 
used in churches, etc., at funerals. In Shakspere's time the upper 
part of the stage, technically called 'the heavens,' was hung with 
black when tragedies were performed. 

"I would not hear of blacks, 1 was so light, 
But chose a color orient like my mind: 
For blacks are often such dissembling mourners, 
There is no credit given to 't; it has lost 
All reputation by false sons and widows." 

Middleton. The Old Law. ii. 1. 

^ Mate. To daunt; to stupefy. 

"My mind she has mated and amazed my sight." 

Shakspere. Macbeth, v. 1. 

* Pre-occupate. To occupy before; to anticipate. 

"Marcus Salvius Otho, Roman emperor, 32-69 a.d. 

'Provoke. To stimulate to action; to move; to excite. "And let 
us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works." 
Sebrewfl x. 24. 


sed etiam fastidiosiis potest} A man would die, 
thougli he were neither valiant nor miserable, only 
upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over 
and over. It is no less worthy to observe, how 
little alteration in good spirits the approaches of 
death make ; for they appear to be the same men 
tin the last instant. Augustus Caesar^ died in a 
compliment; lAvia^ conjugii nostri memor, vive et 
vale:*^ Tiberius^ in dissimulation; as Tacitus^ 
saith of him. Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, nan dis- 
simulatio, deserel}ant :'' Vespasian^ in a jest; sitting 
upon the stool, Utputo Deusfio:^ Gralba^" with a sen- 
tence ; -Fen, si ex re sitpopuU Boniani : ^^ holding forth 

^ Think how often you do the same things. A man may wish to 
die, not so much because he is brave or miserable, as that lie is tired 
of living. L. Annaei Senecae ad Lucilium Epistularum Moralium 
Liber X. Epistula I. 

"It is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but where life is 
more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live." 
Sir Thomas Browne. Religio Medici. Part I. Section 44. 

2 Caius Octavius, called later, Caius Julius Caesar Octavlanus 
Augustus, great-nephew of Julius Caesar, and first Boman emperor, 
lived 63 B.C. to 14 a.d. 

^ Livia DrusiUa was the mother of Tiberius and the third wife of 
Augustus. 'Caesar Augustus died in a compliment. — I hope *t was a 
sincere one I — quoth my Uncle Toby. — 'T was to his wife, — said my 
father.' Sterne. Tristram Shandy. Y. 3. 

* Livia, mindful of our union, live on, and farewell. C. Siie- 
toni TranquiUi Be XII Caesaribus Liber II. D. Octavius Caesar 
Augustus. 100. 

= Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, stepson of Augustus and Roman 
emperor, lived 42 B.C. to 37 a.d. 

^ Cornelius Tacitus, Roman historian, lived from about 55 to 
about 117 A.D, He wrote De vita et moribus Julii Agricolae; Germania; 
Bistoriae, accounts of the reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, 
Titus, and Domitian; and Annales, a history of the Julian dynasty 
from the death of Augustus. 

' His strength and vitality were now deserting Tiberius, but not 
his dissimulation. P. Cornelii Taciti Annalium Liber YI. Caput 50. 

'Titus Flavins Sabinus Vespasianus, Roman emperor, 9-79 A.D. 

° I suppose I am becoming a god. O. Suetoni TranquiUi De XII 
Caesaribus Liber YIII. T. Flavius Yespasianus Augustus. 23. 
" Servius Sulpicius Galba, Roman emperor, lived 3 B.C. to 69 A.D. 
" Strike, if it be for the good of the Roman people. Cornelii 
Taciti Historiarum Liber I. Caput 41, 


his neck. Septimius Severusi j^ despatch; Adeste 
si quid mihi restat agendum : ^ And the like. Certainly 
the Stoics bestowed too much cost upon death, and by 
their great preparations made it appear more fear- 
ful. Better saith he, qui finem vitm extremum inter 
munera ponat naturce? It is as natural to die as to 
be born ; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as 
painful as the other. He that dies in an earnest 
pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood ; 
who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and 
therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat 
that is good doth avert the dolours* of death. But 
above aU, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, Nunc 
dimittis;^ when a man hath obtained worthy ends 
and expectations. Death hath this also; that it 
openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth 
envy. JExtinctus amaUtur idem.^ 

1 Lucius Septimius Severus, Roman emperor, 146 — 211 A.D. 

2 Make haste, if anything remains for me to do. Dion Cassius. 
Liber LXXYI. 17. 

* Who considers the end of life as one of nature's blessings. The 
thought is Juvenal's, D. Junii Juvenalis Aquinatis Satiraru/m 
Liber lY. Satira X. 358 — 359. Bacon quotes the verse again in 
the Advancement of Learning. II. xxi. 5. 

* Dolours. Griefs, sorrows. "About this time I did light on a 
dreadful story of that miserable mortal, Francis Spira ; a book that 
was to my troubled spirit, as salt when rubbed into a fresh wound: 
every sentence in that book, every groan of that man, with all the 
rest of his actions in his dolours, as his tears, his prayers, his 
gnashing of teeth, his wringing of hands, his twisting, and lan- 
guishing, and pining away under that mighty hand of God that was 
upon him, were as knives and daggers to my soul." Bunyan. 
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. The Works of thai emi- 
nent servant of Christ, John Bunyan, Minister of the Gospel; and 
formerly Pastor of a Congregation at Bedford. Vol. I. p. 49. 
(New Haven. 1831.) 

^ Nunc dimittis, or the Song of Simeon. Luke ii. 29 — 32. "Lord, 
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." It is one of the 
canticles for Evening Prayer in the Church of England. 

" The same man, dead, will be loved ; i.e., he who is envied and 
suffers from detraction in life, may become a hero after death. 
Q. Boratii Flacci Epistolarum Liber II. Epistola I. Ad Ayr 
guttum. 14. 


III. Op Unity in Religion. 

Religion being tlie chief band of human society, 
it is a happy thing when itself is well contained 
within the true band of Unity. The quarrels and 
divisions about religion were evils unknown to the 
heathen. The reason was, because the religion of 
the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies, 
than in any constant belief. For you may imagine 
what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief 
doctors^ and fathers of their church were the poets. 
But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a 
jealous God ; ^ and therefore his worship and religion 
will endure no mixture nor partner. We shall 
therefore speak a few words concerning the Unity 
of the Church ; what are the Fruits thereof ; what 
the Bounds ; and what the Means. 

The Fruits of Unity (next unto the well pleasing 
of God, which is all in aU) are two ; the one to- 
wards those that are without the church, the 
other towards those that are within. For the 
former ; it is certain that heresies and schisms are 
of all others the greatest scandals ; yea, more than 
corruption of manners. For as in the natural body 
a wound or solution of continuity^ is worse than a 

^ Doctor. Teacher, instructor. "And it came to pass that after 
three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the 
doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions." Lulce ii. 46. 

2 "For thou Shalt worship no other god : for the Lord, whose 
name is Jealous, is a jealous God." Exodus xxxiv. 14. Compare 
also the Second Commandment, Exodus xx. 5. 

3 A wound makes a solution of continuity by severing muscles, 
nerves, arteries, and the like. 


corrupt humour ; so in the spiritual. So that noth- 
ing doth so much keep men out of the church, and 
drive men out of the church, as breach of unity. 
And therefore, whensoever it cometh to that pass, 
that one saith Ecce in deserto,^ another saith Ucce in 
penetralibus ;^ that is, when some men seek Christ 
in the conventicles of heretics, and others in an out- 
ward face of a church, that voice had need continu- 
ally to sound in men's ears, Nolite exire, — Go not 
out? The Doctor of the Gentiles* (the propriety* 
of whose vocation^ drew him to have a special care 
of those without) saith, If an heathen come in, and 
hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say 
that you are madf And certainly it is little better, 
when atheists and profane persons do hear of so 
many discordant and contrary opinions in religion ; 
it doth avert ^ them from the church, and maketh 
them to sit down in the chair of the scorners? It is 
but a light thing to be vouched^" in so serious a 
matter, but yet it expresseth weU the deformity. 
There is a master of scoflng, that in his catalogue 

1 "Behold, lie is in the desert." Matthew xxiv. 26. 

' "Behold, he is in the secret chambers." Matthew xxiv. 26. 

' "Go not forth." Matthew xxiv. 26. 

' The Apostle Paul is the 'Doctor of the Gentiles.' In Acts 
xxii. 21, Paul relates how he was specially called to his apostleship 
among the Gentiles: "And he said unto me. Depart: for I will send 
thee far hence unto the Gentiles." 

" Propriety. Peculiar quality, especial concern. 

® Vocation. Calling in life. 

' "If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, 
and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are un- 
learned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" I. 
Corinthians xiv. 23. 

^ Avert. To turn from; to repel, 

' "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the un- 
godly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of 
the scornful." Psalms i. 1. 

^"Youch. To bear witness to; to confirm. 


of books of a feigned library sets down this title 
of a book, The morris-dance of Heretics?- For in- 
deed every sect of tbem bath a diverse^ posture or 
cringe* by themselves, which cannot but move de- 
rision in worldlings and depraved politics,* who are 
apt to contemn holy things. 

As for the fruit towards those that are within ; it 
is peace; which containeth infinite blessings. It 
establisheth faith, ft kindleth charity. The out- 
ward peace of the church distiUeth into peace of 
conscience. And it turneth the labours of writing 
and reading of controversies into treatises of mor- 
tification and devotion. 

Concerning the Bounds of Unity ; the true placing 
of them importeth exceedingly.* There appear to be 
two extremes. For to certain zelants^ aU speech of 
pacification is odious. Is it peace, Jehu? What hast 

^ Bacon alludes to FranQois Kabelais, born about 1483, died 
April 9, 1553. Among the books which Pantagruel, son of Gar- 
gantua, found in the Library of St. Victor in Paris was, La 
Morisque des h^rHiques. (Les Cinq Livres de F. Rabelais. Tonne I. 
p. 255. Edition Jouaust. Paris. 1885.) The morris, or morris- 
dance, is a dance performed with bells, castanets, or tambours. It 
comes from the Spanish morisco, a Moorish dance; from rtioro, a 

2 Diverse. Different. "And four great beasts came up from the 
sea, diverse one from another." Daniel vii. 3. 

^ Cringe. A deferential, servile, or fawning obeisance; derisively, 
a bow. "Why should history go on kneeling to the end of time? 
I am for having her rise off her knees, and take a natural posture: 
not to be forever performing cringes and congees like a court- 
chamberlain, and shuffling backwards out of doors in the presence 
of the sovereign. In a word, I would have history familiar rather 
than heroic: and think that Mr. Hogarth and Mr. Fielding will give 
our children a much better idea of the manners of the present age 
in England, than the Court Gazette and the newspapers which we 
get thence." Thackeray. Henry Esmond. I. 1. 

* Politics. Politicians. 

^Importeth exceedingly. That is, in modern phrase, is exceedr 
ingly important. 

' Zela/nts. Zealots. 


thou to do mth peace? turn thee behind me.^ Peace 
is not the matter, but following and party. Con- 
trariwise, certain Laodieeans and lukewarm^ per- 
sons think they may accommodate^ points of re- 
ligion by middle ways, and taking part of both, 
and witty* reconcilements ; as if they would make 
an arbitrement^ between God and man. Both 
these extremes are to be avoided ; which wiU be 
done, if the league of Christians penned by our 
Saviour himself were in the two cross clauses 
thereof soundly and plainly expounded : JBTe that is 
not mth us is against us; ^ and again. He that is not 
against us is with us;'' that is, if the points funda- 
mental and of substance in religion were truly dis- 
cerned and distiaguished from points not merely^ 
of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. 
This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, 
and done already. But if it were done less partially, 
it would be embraced more generally. 

Of this I may give only this advice, according to 
my small model. Men ought to take heed of rend- 

* "So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus 
saith the king. Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do 
with peace? turn thee behind me." //. Kings ix. 18. 

^ "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodieeans write; . 
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will 
spue thee out of my mouth." Bevelation iii. 14, 16. 

^ Accow/modate. To adjust, reconcile (things or persons that 
differ) ; to hring into harmony or agreement, 

* Witty. Ingenious. 

^ Arbitrement. Compromise, friendly agreement. 

* "He that is not with me is against me." Matthew xii. 30 and 
Luke xi. 23. 

^ "For he that is not against us is on our part." MarJc ix. 40. 
^ Merely. Absolutely, wholly, completely. 

"X wish ye all content, and am as happy. 
In my friend's good as if 't were merely mine." 
Beaumont and Fletcher. The Honest Man's Fortwne, v, 3, 


ing God's churcli by two kinds of controversies. 
The one is, when the matter of the point contro- 
verted is too small and light, not worth the heat and 
strife about it, kindled only by contradiction. For 
as it is noted by one of the fathers, Christ's coat in- 
deed had no seam, hut the church's vesture was of divers 
colours;^ whereupon he saith. In veste varietas sit, 
scissura non sit:^ they be two things. Unity and 
Uniformity. The other is, when the matter of the 
point controverted is great, but it is driven to an 
over-great subtilty and obscurity; so that it be- 
cometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial. 
A man that is of judgment and understanding shall 
sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and know well 
within himself that those which so differ mean one 
thing, and yet they themselves would never agree. 
And if it come so to pass in that distance of judg- 
ment which is between man and man, shall we not^ 
think that God above, that knows the heart, doth 
not^ discern that frail men in some of their contra- 
dictions intend the same thing; and accepteth of* 
both? The nature of such controversies is excel- 

^ The allusion is to Psalms xlv, 14. "She shall be brought unto 
the King in raiment of needlework," but the phrase in raiment of 
needlework is in the Vulgate, circumamicta varietatibus, 'enveloped 
with varieties.' 

2 Let there be many colors in the garment, but let there be no 
rending of it. St. Bernard. Letter CCCXXXIV. To Guy of Pisa. 
Against the same Abaelard. Life and Works of Saint Bernard. 
Edited by Dom John MabiUon. Translated by Samuel J. Eales. 
II. 865. 

' So in the original. One of the nots should obviously be struck 
out; the reader can choose which. S. 

* Accept. To receive (a thing or person) with approval; fre- 
quently followed by 'of.' "And ye say moreover. Behold, thy servant 
Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the pres- 
ent that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; per- 
adventure he will accept of me." Genesis xxxii. SO. 


lently expressed by St. Paul in the warning and 
precept that he giveth concerning the same, Devita 
prof anas vocum novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis 
scientice:^ Men create oppositions which are not ; 
and put them into new terms so fixed, as^ whereas 
the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in 
effect governeth the meaning. There be also two 
false peaces or unities : the one, when the peace is 
grounded but upon an implicit ignorance ; for aU 
colours will agree in the dark : the other, when it 
is pieced up upon a direct admission of contraries 
in fundamental points. For truth and falsehood, 
in such things, are like the iron and clay in the toes 
of Nabuchadnezzar's image ; ^ they may cleave, but 
they will not incorporate. 

Concerning the Means of procuring Unity ; men 
must beware, that in the procuring or muniting* 
of religious unity they do not dissolve and deface 
the laws of charity and of human society. There 
be two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual and 
temporal ; and both have their due ofQce and place 
in the maintenance of religion. But we may not 
take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword, 
or Kke unto it ; that is, to propagate religion by 
wars or by sanguinary persecutions to force con- 
sciences ; except it be in the cases of overt scandal, 
blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against the 
state ; much less to nourish seditions ; to authorize 

' "Avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science 
falsely so called." J. Timothy vi. 20. 

' As. That. 

' "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay." 
Daniel ii. 33. 

* Muniting. From the Latin munio, fortifying, strengthening. 


conspiracies and rebellions ; to put the sword into 
the people's hands ; and the like ; tending to the 
subversion of aU government, which is the ordi- 
nance of God. For this is but to dash the first table 
against the second ;i and so to consider men as 
Christians, as we forget that they are men. Lu- 
cretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agamem- 
non,^ that could endure the sacrificing of his own 
daughter, exclaimed : 

Tantum Relligio potuit suadere malorum : ' 

What would he have said, if he had known of the 
massacre in France,* or the powder treason^ of Eng- 
land ? He would have been seven times more Epi- 
cure® and atheist than he was. For as the temporal 
sword is to be drawn with great circumspection in 

^ "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, 
that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, 
and he cast the tahles out of his hands, and broke them beneath 
the mount." Exodus xxxii, 19. 

^ Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks before Troy, made a vow to 
Artemis that he would offer up to her the dearest possession that 
came to him within the next twelvemonth. This happened to be a 
child, his daughter, Iphigeneia. When, some years later the Trojan 
fleet was wind-bound at Aulis, Calchas, the priest, said it was on 
account of the wrath of the goddess because Agamemnon had not 
kept his vow. Iphigeneia was thereupon bound to the altar to be 
sacrificed, but Artemis substituted a hind in her stead and carried 
off the maiden to Tauris to become her priestess. Note the likeness 
of the story to that of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, Genesis xxii, 
1—19; and to Jephthah's vow. Judges xi. 30—40. 

Iphigeneia's story was treated by Euripides, in his tragedy, Iphi- 
geneia in Tauris, and by Goethe, in Tphigenie auf Tauris. 

^ To ills so dire could religion prompt. T. Lucreti Cari De Berum 
Natura. Liber I. 101. 

* The massacre of the Huguenots in France on St. Bartholomew's 
day, August 24, 1572, by the order of Charles IX. and his mother, 
Catharine de' Medici. 

''The Gunpowder Plot, of Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) and other 
conspirators, who proposed to blow up the House of Lords at the 
opening of Parliament, Nov. 5, 1605, when the King, the royal 
family, and the House of Commons would be present. 

" Epicure. Epicurean. 


cases of religion; so it is a thing monstrous to 
put it into the hands of the common people. 
Let that be left unto the Anabaptists/ and 
other furies. It was great blasphemy when the 
devil said, I will ascend and he like the Highest; ^ but 
it is greater blasphemy to personate God, and bring 
him in sajdng, I mil descend, and be like the prince of 
darkness: and what is it better, to make the cause of 
religion to descend to the cruel and execrable ac- 
tions of murthering princes, butchery of people, 
and subversion of states and governments ? Surely 
this is to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of 
the likeness of a dove,^ in the shape of a vulture 
or raven; and set out of the bark of a Christian 
church a flag of a bark of pirates and assassins. 
Therefore it is most necessary that the church by doc- 
trine and decree, princes by their sword, and all 
learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their 
Mercury rod,* do damn and send to hell for ever 
those facts and opinions tending to the support of 

1 Anabaptists. The followers of John Matthiesen and John Boek- 
old, or John of Leyden, who attempted to set up a socialistic kingdom 
of New Zion or Mount Zion at Mlinster in Westphalia, about 
1530—1535. Anabaptize means to baptize again; an Anabaptist in 
the literal sense is one who believes in re-baptism, or adult baptism. 
Bacon cofiipares the Anabaptists to furies from their vicious doc- 
trines, one of which was polygamy, 

'"'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like 
the most High." Isaiah xiv. 14. *'Por so we see, aspiring to be 
like God in power, the angels transgressed and fell; Ascendam, 
et ero similis altissimo." Advancement of Learning. II. xxii. 

^ "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out 
of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he 
saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon 
him." Matthew Hi. 16. 

* Mercury rod. The cadniceus, a rod entwined with two ser- 
pents and surmounted by two wings. With it Mercury, the mes- 
■enger of the gods, summoned souls to Hades. 


tlie same ; as hath been already in good part done. 
Surely in counsels concerning religion, that coun- 
sel of the apostle would ^ be prefixed, Ira hominis 
non implet justitiam Dei :^ And it was a notable ob- 
servation of a wise father, and no less ingenuously 
confessed ; that those which held and persuaded^ pres- 
sure of consciences were commonly interessed* therein 
themselves for their own ends. 

IV. Of Revenge. 

Revenge is a kind of wild justice ; which the more 
man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it 
out. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend 
the law ; but the revenge of that wrong putteth 
the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge, 
a man is but even with his enemy ; but in passing 
it over, he is superior ; for it is a prince's part to 
pardon. And Salomon, I am sure, saith, It is the 
glory of a man to pass by an offence.^ That which is 
past is gone, and irrevocable ; and wise men have 
enough to do with things present and to come; 
therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that 

'^ Would = should, as frequently in Elizabethan English. 

^ "For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." 
James i. 20. 

' Persuade. To commend a statement or opinion to acceptance ; 
to inculcate. "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly 
for the space of three months, disputing, and persuading the things 
concerning the kingdom of God." Acts xix. 3. 

* Interessed. Earlier form of interested. 

'"The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his 
glory to pass over a transgression." Proverbs odx. 11. 


labour in past matters. There is no man doth a 
wrong for the wrong's sake ; but thereby to pur- 
chase himself profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the 
like. Therefore why should I be angry with a 
man for loving himself better than me ? And if any 
man should do wrong merely out of ill-natuxe, why, 
yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and 
scratch, because they can do no other. The most 
tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which 
there is no law to remedy ; but then let a man take 
heed the revenge be such as there is no law to pim- 
ish ; else a man's enemy is still before hand, and it 
is two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are 
desirous the party should know whence it cometh. 
This the more generous. For the delight seemeth 
to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making 
the party repent. But base and crafty cowards are 
like the arrow that flieth in the dark.^ Cosmus,^ 
duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against 
perfidious or neglecting^ friends, as if those wrongs 
were unpardonable ; Tou shall read (saith he) that 
we are commanded to forgive our enemies* but you never 
read that we are commanded to forgive our friends. 

1 "Thou Shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the 
arrow that flieth by day." Psalms xci. 6. 

^Cosimo de' Medici, pater patriae, 1389-1464, was a Florentine 
banker and statesman, and a munificent patron of literature and 
art. "Cosmos duke of Florence was wont to say of perfidious 
friends; That we read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but 
we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.'^ 

Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 208 (92). 
Mar4chal Pierre de Villars, 1623-1698, is said to have taken 
leave of Louis XIV. with the witticism, "Defend me from my friends; 
I can defend myself from my enemies." 

' Neglecting. Negligent, neglectful. 

* "And forgive ns our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Mai- 
thew vi. 12. 


But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune : Shall 
we (saitb he) take good at GoWs hands, and not he con- 
tent to take evil also f^ And so of friends in, a pro- 
portion. This is certain^ that a man that studieth 
revenge keeps his own wounds green, which other- 
wise would heal and do well. Public revenges ^ are 
for the most part fortunate j as that for the death 
of Caesar;^ for the death of Pertinaxj^ for the 
death of Henry the Third^ of France ; and many 
more. But in private revenges it is not so. Nay 
rather, Adndictive persons hve the life of witches ; 
who, as they are mischievous, so end they infortu- 

^"What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we 
not receive evil?" Joh U. lo. 

^Revenges. Y indications. "And thus the whirligig of time 
brings in his revenges." Shakspere. Twelfth Night, v. 1. 

* Julius Caesar, Roman general and dictator, born 100 B.C., was 
assassinated at a meeting of the Roman senate held on the Ides of 
March, 44 B.C. His great-nephew, Caius Octavius, then a youth 
of only nineteen, took it upon himself to avenge Caesar. With 
Mark Antony and Lepidus he formed the second triumvirate, which 
relentlessly pursued the assassins. When the republicans, Brutus 
and Cassius, fell upon their own swords after the defeat at 
Philippi, 42 B.C., most of them were gone. Philippi was the grave 
of the Roman republic. 

* The Emperor Pertinax was murdered by the Praetorian guards, 
March 28, 193 A.D., who then disposed of the crown at public 
auction to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus. Lucius Septimius 
Severus was the avenger of Pertinax. Gibbon says of his treat- 
ment of the Praetorian guards : 

"A chosen part of the Illyrian army encompassed them with 
levelled spears. Incapable of flight or resistance, they expected their 
fate in silent consternation. Severus mounted the tribunal, sternly 
reproached them with perfidy and cowardice, dismissed them with 
ignominy from the trust which they had betrayed, despoiled them 
of their splendid ornaments, and banished them, on pain of death, 
to the distante of a hundred miles from the capital." The History 
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Vol. I. Ch. Y. 

^ Henry III,, of France, was assassinated August 1, 1589, by a 
Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement. 

* The spirit of resentment, which is a sudden passion, is much 
commoner than that of revenge, a prolonged feud. Revenge is 
barbaric ; the civilized man has too much to think about and to do 
to nurse a feud. "The fact is, I cannot keep my resentments. 


V. Of Adversity.^ 

It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner 
of the Stoics)^ that the good things which belong to 
prosperity are to he wished; hut the good things that 
belong to adversity are to he admired. Bona rerum 
secundarum optahilia; adversarum mirahilia? Cer- 
tainly if miracles be the command over nature, they 
appear most in adversity. It is yet a higher speech 
of his than the other (much too high for a heathen), 
It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man, 
and the security of a God. Vere magnum habere 
fragilitatem hominis, securitatem Dei? This would 
have done better in poesy,* where transcendences^ 

though violent enough in their onset." Byron. Letter to Thomas 
Moore. March 6, 1822. The Works of Lord Byron. R. E. 
Prothero. Vol. YI. p. 35. 

"How happy might "we be, and end our time with blessed days, 
and sweet content, if we could contain ourselves, and, as we ought 
to do, put up injuries, learn humility, meekness, patience, forget and 
forgive, (as in God's word we are injoyned), compose such small 
controversies amongst ourselves, moderate our passions in this 
kind, and think better of others (as Paul would have us) than of 
ourselves: be of like affection one towards another, and not 
avenge ourselves, but have peace with all men!" Robert Burton. 
The Anatomy of Melancholy. Partition 1. Section 2. Member 3. 
/Subsection 8. Edited by Rev. A. R. Shilleto, M.A., with an Intro- 
duction by A. S. Bullen. London. 1893. 

^ This essay was first printed in the edition of 1625, after 
Bacon had experienced the height of prosperity as Lord Chancellor 
and the depth of adversity in his degradation and fall. 

^ Ilia bona optabilia, haec mirabilia sunt. L. Annaei Seneeae 
ad Lucilium Epistularum Moralium Liber YII. Epistula lY. 29. 

^Ecce res magna, habere inbecillitatem hominis, securitatem dei. 
L. Annaei Seneeae ad Lucilium Epistularum Moralium Liber YI. 
Epistula I. 12. 

* Poesy. Poetry. 

"Music and poesy use, to quicken you." 

Shakspere. The Taming of the Shrew, i, 1, 

^Transcendence. Elevation, loftiness (of thought). 


are more allowed. Aud the poets indeed have been 
busy with it ; for it is in effect the thing which is 
figured in that strange fiction of the ancient poets, 
which seemeth not to be without mystery;^ nay, 
and to have some approach to the state of a Christian ; 
that Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus,^ 
(by whom human nature is represented), sailed the 
length of the great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher; 
lively describing Christian resolution, that saUeth 
in the frail bark of the flesh thorough the waves of 
the world. But to speak in a mean.^ The virtue 
of Prosperity is temperance ; the virtue of Adversity 
is fortitude ; which in morals is the more heroical 
virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testa- 
ment ; Adversity is the blessing of the New ; which 
carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer 
revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old 
Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall 
hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the 
pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in 

1 Mystery. Midden Tneaning, as in the word 'myth,' which is a 
fable containing elements of truth. 

2 Prometheus was the son of lapetus, one of the Titans. He 
formed men of clay, and animated them with fire brought from 
heaven. For this Jupiter sent Mercury to bind him to the Caucasus, 
where a vulture preyed upon his liver until killed by Hercules. 
'Prometheus' means 'the Foreknower,' as in Mrs. Browning's 
drama, Prometheus Bound, 

"Unto me the foreknower." 

W. M. Rossetti, in his Memoir of Percy Bysshe Shelley, p. 97, 
places Shelley's drama, Prometheus Unbound, 1820, "at the summit 
of all latter poetry." "It is the ideal poem of perpetual and 
triumphant progression — the Atlantis of Man Emancipated." 
Prometheus ; or the State of Man, in Of the Wisdom of the Ancients, 
is Bacon's version of the myth of Prometheus. 

^ To speak in a mean. To speak with moderation. 
"the golden mean, and quiet ilow, 
Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife." 

Wordsworth. Ecclesiastical Sonnets. Part III. Sacheverel. 13—14. 


describing the afaictions of Job than the felicities ^ 
of Salomon. Prosperity is not without many fears 
and distastes ; and Adversity is not without com- 
forts and hopes. "We see in needle-works and em- 
broideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work 
upon a sad^ and solemn ground, than to have a dark 
and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground: 
judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart by the 
pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like 
precious odours, most fragrant when they are 
incensed^ or crushed: for Prosperity doth best 
discover vice, but Adversity doth best discover 

VI. Of SnrtJLATiON* and Dissbidlation.^ 

Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy or 
wisdom ; for it asketh a strong wit and a strong 
heart to know when to teU truth, and to do it. 
Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics that are the 
great dissemblers. 

Tacitus saith, Idvia sorted well with the arts of her 

^ Felicities. Prosperous circumstances, successes. 

^ Sad. Dark-colored. "This is a gentleman every inch of Mm, 
and a virtuoso, a clean virtuoso — a sad-coloured stand of claithes, 
and a wig like the curled back of a mug-ewe." Scott. The Monas- 
tery. Introductory Epistle. 

^ Incensed. Enkindled, set on fire. "The same Mr. Bettenham 
[Header of Gray's Inn] said: That virtuous men were like some 
herbs and spices, that give not their sweet smell, till they he broken 
'and crushed." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 253. 

* Simulation. The act of sirrmlating or feigning ; pretense, 
usuaUy for the purpose of deceiving. 

^ Dissimulation. Deceit, hypocrisy. 


husband and dissimulation of her son;'^ attributing 
arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to 
Tiberius. And again, wben Mucianus eneourageth 
Vespasian to take arms against Vitellius,^ he saith, 
We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus, 
nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius.^ These 
properties, of arts or policy and dissimulation or 
closeness, are indeed habits and faculties several, 
and to be distinguished. For if a man have that 
penetration of judgment as* he can discern what 
things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, 
and what to be shewed at half lights, and to whom 
and when, (which indeed are arts of state and arts 
of life, as Tacitus well ealleth them,) to him a habit 
of dissimulation is a hinderance and a poorness. 
But if a man cannot obtain^ to that judgment, then 
it is left to him generally to be close, and a dissem- 
bler. For where a man cannot choose or vary in 
particulars, there it is good to take the safest and 
wariest way in general ; like the going softly, by one 
that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men that 
ever were have had all an openness and frankness 
of dealing ; and a name of certainty and veracity ; 

1 Mater impotens, uxor faeUis et cum, artihus mariti, sirfiulatione 
filii bene eomposita, as a mother imperious, as a wife oompliant 
and well matched with the subtlety of her husband and the dissimu- 
lation of her son. P. Cornelii Taciti Annalium Liber Y. Frag- 
mentum. Caput 1. Of. Advancement of Learning. II. xxiii. 36. 

^Aulus Vitellius, 15 — 69 A.D., Roman emperor immediately before 

^ Non adversus divi Augusti acerrimam mentem, nee adversus 
cautissiTnam Tiberii aenectutem, ne contra Gai quide-m aut Claudii vel 
Neronis fundatam longo imperio domum exsurgim/us. Cornelii 
Taciti Historiarum Liber II. Caput 76. 

' As. That. 

^Obtain. To attam to; to reach; to gain; intransitive, with 'to* 
or 'unto.' 


but then they were like horses well managed ; for 
they could tell passing well when to stop or turn ; 
and at such times when they thought the case in- 
deed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it 
came to pass that the former opinion spread abroad 
of their good faith and clearness of dealing made 
them almost invisible. 

There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling 
of a man's self. The first. Closeness, Reservation, 
and Secrecy; when a man leaveth himself without 
observation, or without hold to be taken, what 
he is.^ The second. Dissimulation, in the negative; 
when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is 
not that^ he is. And the third. Simulation, in the 
affirmative ; when a man industriously and expressly 
feigns and pretends to be that he is not. 

For the first of these. Secrecy ; it is indeed the 
virtue of a confessor. And assuredly the secret man 
heareth many confessions. For who will open him- 
self to a blab or babbler ? But if a man be thought 
secret, it inviteth discovery ; as the more close air 
sucketh i-n the more open ; and as in confession the 
revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of 
a man's heart, so secret men come to the knowledge 
of many things in that kind ; while men rather dis- 

* Before Milton set out on his Italian journey, he received a 
letter of advice from Sir Henry Wotton, then Provost of Eton. 
Wotton said that in Siena he had been "tabled in the house of one 
Alberto Scipioni, an old Koman courtier in dangerous times . . . 
and at my departure toward Borne (which had been the centre 
of his experience) I had won his confidence enough to beg his 
advice how I might carry myself there without offence of others or 
of mine own conscience. 'Signer Arrigo mio,' says he, *Z pensieH 
stretti ed il visa sciolto' [honest thoughts and an open countenance] 
will go safely over the wliole world.' " 

2 That. What. 


charge their minds thau impart their minds. In few 
words, mysteries are due to secrecy.^ Besides (to 
say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind 
as body ; and it addeth no small reverence to men's 
manners and actions, if they be not altogether open. 
As for talkers and futile^ persons, they are com- 
monly vain and credulous withal. For he that 
talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he 
knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that an hahit 
of secrecy is both politic and moral. And in this part 
it is good that a man's face give his tongue leave 
to speak. For the discovery of a man's self by the 
tracts* of his countenance is a great weakness and 
betraying; by how much it is many times more 
marked and believed than a man's words. 

For the second, which is Dissimulation ; it f oHow- 
eth many times upon secrecy by a necessity ; so that 
he that wiU be secret must be a dissembler in some 
degree. For men are too cunning to suffer a man to 
keep an indifferent* carriage between both, and to be 
secret, without swaying the balance on either side. 
They will so beset a man with questions, and draw 
him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an ab- 
surd silence, he must show an inclination one way ; or 
if he do not, they will gather as much by his silence 
as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous^ 

* "A proper secrecy is the only mystery of able men : mystery the 
only secrecy of weak and cunning ones." Maxims: Enclosed in Let- 
ter of January 15, 1753. The Letters of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 
Earl of Chesterfield, with the Characters. Edited with Introduction, 
Notes, and Index, iy John Bradshaw. II. S7^, 

2 Futile. Talkative. 

' Tract. Trait, lineament, feature. 

'Indifferent. Impartial, neutral, 

' Qraculous, Oracular, 


speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man 
can be secret, except he give himself a little scope 
of dissimulation ; which is, as it were, but the skirts 
or train of secrecy. 

But for the third degree, which is Simulation and 
false prof ession ; that I hold more culpable, and less 
politic ; except it be in great and rare matters. And 
therefore a general custom of simulation (which is 
this last degree) is a vice, rising either of a natural 
falseness or f earf ulness, or of a mind that hath some 
main faults, which because a man must needs dis- 
guise, it maketh him practise simulation in other 
things, lest his hand should be out of use. 

The great advantages of simulation and dissimu- 
lation are three. First, to lay asleep opposition, and 
to surprise. For where a man's intentions are pub- 
lished, it is an alarum to call up all that are against 
them. The second is, to reserve to a man's self a 
fair retreat. For if a man engage himself by a mani- 
fest declaration, he must go through or take a faU.i 
The third is, the better to discover the mind of an- 
other. For to him that opens himself men will 
hardly shew themselves adverse ; but wiU (fair) ^ let 
him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to 
freedom of thought. And therefore it is a good 
shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lie and find 
a troth? As if there were no way of discovery but 
by simulation. There be also three disadvantages, 

^ Fall. A hout at wrestling; to 'take a fall' is to he tripped, to he 

2 The Latin translation renders fair by potius, rather; the adverb 
fairly preserves the sense in the phrase fairly viell^rather well. 

' This Spanish proverb will be found in the Advancement of 
Learning, II. xxiii. 18; "Di Tnentira, y sacaras verdad." 


to set it even. The first, that simulation and dis- 
simulation commonly carry with them a shew of 
fearfnlness, which in any business doth spoil the 
feathers of round^ flying up to the mark. The sec- 
ond, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits ^ of 
many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate with 
him ; and makes a man walk almost alone to his 
own ends. The third and greatest, is, that it de- 
priveth a man of one of the most principal instru- 
ments for action ; which is trust and belief. The 
best composition and temperature^ is to have open- 
ness in fame and opinion ; secrecy in habit ; dissim- 
ulation in seasonable use ; and a power to feign, if 
there be no remedy. 

VII. Of Parents and Children. 

The joys of parents are secret ; and so are their 
griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one ; nor 

^ Round. Direct. 

2 Conceit. Conception, idea, thought, notion. 

"Is it not monstrous, that this player here, 
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, 
Could force his soul so to his own conceit, 
That from her working all his visage wann'd ; 
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, 
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting 
With forms to his conceit?'^ 

Shakspere. Hamlet, ii. 2. 

3 Temperature. Temperament, constitution. Bacon uses the word 
'temperature,' as also 'temper,' in the essay Of Empire, in the old 
physiological sense. A person's 'temperature' or 'temperament' was 
his 'mixture,' or, to put the idea in another way, his 'complexion' 
was his 'combination,' that is, of the four liquids or humors. 


they will not^ utter the other. Children sweeten 
labours; but they make misfortunes more bitter. 
They increase the cares of life ; but they mitigate 
the remembrance of death, The perpetuity by 
generation is common to beasts; but memory, 
merit, and noble works, are proper to men. And 
surely a man shall see the noblest works and founda- 
tions ^ have proceeded from childless men ; which 
have sought to express the images of their minds, 
where those of their bodies have failed. So the care 
of posterity is most in them that have no posterity. 
They that are the first raisers of their houses^ are 
most indulgent towards their children; beholding 
them as the continuance not only of their kind but 
of their work ; and so both children and creatures.* 
The difference in affection of parents towards 
their several children is many times unequal; and 
sometimes unworthy ; especially in the mother ; as 
Salomon saith, A wise son rejoiceth the father, but 
an ungracious son shames the mother.^ A man shall 
see, where there is a house fuU of children, one or 
two of the eldest respected, and the youngest made 
wantons;^ but in the midst some that are as it 
were forgotten, who many times nevertheless prove 
the best. The illiberality of parents in allowance 

» Nor win. they not means simply nor will they. It is the old 
English double negative used to strengthen the negation. Here the 
two negatives happen to mal^e an affirmative, but that is by no 
means always the case, nor is the common statement of modern 
grammars that two negatives make an affirmative an adequate ex- 
planation of the idiom. 

'Foundations. Endowments, institutions, such as colleges, or 

^ Houses. Families of rank. 

* Creature. A created thing, animate or inotfiimo/te ^ a crec^tion^ 

** Proverbs x. 1. 

P Wantons, Spoiled chUd,r^tt, 


towards their children is an harmful error ; makes 
them base; acquaints them with shifts; makes 
them sort^ with mean company ; and makes them 
surfeit more when they come to plenty. And there- 
fore the proofs is best, when men keep their 
authority towards their children, but not their purse. 
Men have a foolish manner (both parents and school- 
masters and servants) in creating and breeding an 
emulation between brothers during childhood, which 
nmny times sorteth^ to discord when they are men, 
and disturbeth families. The Italians make little 
difference between children and nephews or near 
kinsfolks ; but so they be of the lump, they care not 
though they pass not through their own body. And 
to say truth, in nature it is much a like matter ; 
insomuch that we see a nephew sometimes re- 
sembleth an uncle or a kinsman more than his own 
parents ; as the blood happens. Let parents choose 
betimes the vocations and courses they mean their 
children should take; for then they are most 
flexible; and let them not too much apply them- 
selves to the disposition of their children, as think- 
ing they will take best to that which they have most 
mind to. It is true, that if the affections* or apt- 

* Sort. Associate. 

"1 will not sort you with the rest of my servants." 

Shakspere. Samlet, ii. 2. 

-Proof. Things proved; fact, result. 

"But 't is a common proof, 
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder." 

Shakspere. Julius Caesar, ii. 1. 

" Sorteth. Sort here means to happen ; to turn out. 

"Well, I am glad that all things sort so well." 

Shakspere. Much Ado About Nothing, v, i, 

* Affection, pisposition towards; inclinatiQn, bent. 


ness of the children be extraordinary, then it is good 
not to cross it ; but generally the precept is good, 
optimum elige, suave et facile illud faciei consuetudo} 
Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, but 
seldom or never where the elder are disinherited. 

VIII. Of Maeeiage and Singue Life. 

He that hath wife and children hath given hos- 
tages to fortune ; for they are impediments to great 
enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly 
the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, 
have proceeded from the unmarried or childless 
men; which both in affection and means have 
married and endowed the public. Yet it were great 
reason that those that have children should have 
greatest care of future times ; unto which they know 
they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some 
there are, who. though they lead a single life, yet 
their thoughts do end with themselves, and account 
future times impertinences'.^ N^'Y? there are some 

^ Choose the best, and custom will make it pleasant and easy. 
A saying of Pythagoras, quoted fey Plutarch, De Exilio. 8, 

"Maxims to make one get up : 
1st. Ovtiinwrn eligete, et consuetudo faciei iucundissirrvwrn. 
2d. 'I must get up at last, it will be as diificult then as now. 
3d. By getting up I gain health, knowledge, temper, and animal 

A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith. By his Daughter, Lady 
Holland. Edited by Mrs. Austin. Tol. I. p. 171 (Third 
edition. 1855). 
^Impertinences. Latin sense of the word, things irrelevant. 
**0, matter and impertinency mixed! 
Reason is madness!" 

Shakspere. King Lear. iv. 6, 


other that account wife and children but as bills of 
charges. Nay more, there are some fooUsh rich 
covetous men, that take a pride in having no chil- 
dren, because 1 they may be thought so much the 
richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk. 
Such an one is a great rich man, and another except 
to it, Tea, hut he hath a great charge of children; as 
if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most 
ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially 
in certain self -pleasing and humorous^ minds, which 
are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go 
near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds 
and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best 
masters, best servants ; but not always best subjects ; 
for they are like to run away; and almost all 
fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth 
well with churchmen ; ^ for charity will hardly water 
the groimd where it must first fiU a pool. It is 
indifferent for judges and magistrates ; for if they 
be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five 
times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the 
generals commonly in their hortatives put men in 
mind of their wives and children ; ^ and I think the 
despising of marriage amongst the Turks maketh 
the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and 
children are a kind of discipline of humanity ; and sin- 

^ Because. In order that. 

^ Kumorous. OontroUed by humors ; whimsical, capricious. 
*'As humorous as winter.*' 

Shakspere. II, King Henry IV. iv. 4, 

' Churchmen. Clergymen. 

' "Strike — for your altars and their fires ; 

Strike — for the green graves of your sires; 
God — and your native landl" 

Fitz-Greene Halleck, Marco Bozzaris. 


gle men, tnough they may be many times more char- 
itable, because their means are less exhaust,^ yet, on 
the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, 
(good to make severe inquisitors,) because their 
tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, 
led by custom, and therefore constant, are com- 
monly loving husbands ; as was said of Ulysses,^ 
vetulamsuamprcetuUtimmortalitati.^ Chaste women 
are often proud and fro ward, as presuming upon the 
merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds 
both of chastity and obedience in the wife, if she 
think her husband wise ; which she will never do 
if she find him jealous. Wives are young men's 
mistresses; companions for middle age; and old 
men's nurses. So as a man may have a quarrel,* to 
marry when he will. But yet he was reputed one of 
the wise men, that made answer to the question 
when a man should marry ? — A young man not yet, 

'■Exhaust. Condensed preterit for exhausted. The form is coin- 
mon in tlie Bible and in Shakspere. 

"Our State to be disjoint and out of frame." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, i. 3. 
''Ulysses (Greek, Odysseus), in Greek legend a king of Ithaca 
and one of the heroes of the Trojan war. The Odyssey, an epic 
poem attributed to Homer, celebrates the adventures of Odysseus 
during ten years of wandering spent in repeated efforts to return to 
Ithaca after the close of the Trojan war. 

^ He preferred his aged wife to immortality. The goddess Calypso 
entreated Ulysses to share her immortality, instead of returning to 
Ithaca. Compare the AdvanceTnent of Learning I. viii. 7 : "Ulysses, 
qui vetulam preetulit immortalitati being a figure of those which 
prefer custom and habit before all excellency." The thought is Plu- 
tarch's, Opera Moralia. Gryllus. 1. Plutarch took it from Cicero, 
De Oratore. I. 44. 

' Quarrel. Cause, reason. 

"and the chance of 'goodness 
Be like our warranted quarrel I" 

Shakspere. Macbeth, iv. 3. 

This means, 'May the sucpesg of right be as well warranted a; 
onr cause is just!' 


an elder man not at all} It is often seen that bad 
husbands have very good wives ; whether it be that 
it raiseth the price of their husband's kindness when 
it comes; or that the wives take a pride in their 
patience. But this never fails, if the bad husbands 
were of their own choosing, against their friends' 
consent ; for then they will be sure to make good 
their own folly. 

IX. Op Enty. 

Theee be none of the affections which have been 
noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love and envy. 
They both have vehement wishes ; they frame them- 
selves readily into imaginations and suggestions; 
and they come easily into the eye, especially upon 
the presence of the objects ; which are the points 
that conduce to fascination, if any such thing there 
be. We see likewise the scripture calleth envy an 
evil eye; and the astrologers call the evil influences 
of the stars evil aspects; so that still there seemeth 
to be acknowledged, in the act of envy, an ejacula- 
tion^ or irradiation of the eye. Nay some have 
been so curious as to note, that the times when the 

^ This epigrammatic reply is quoted of Thales of Miletus, 
640 — 546 B.C., one of the 'seven wise men' of Greece. The 
anecdote is told by Plutarch, Opera Moralia. Symposiaca. III. vi. 3. 
(Plutarch'8 Miscellanies and Essays. Edited by W. W. Goodwin, 
with an Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Tol. III. p. 276.) 
"Thales being asked when a man should marry, said: "Young men 
not yet, old men not at all." Bacon, Apophthegmes New and Old. 

^ Ejaculation. The art of throwing or darting out. 


stroke or percussion of an envious eye doth most 
hurt, are when the party envied is beheld in glory 
or triumph ; for that sets an edge upon envy : and 
besides, at such times the spirits of the person 
envied do come forth most into the outward parts, 
and so meet the blow. 

But leaving these curiosities,^ (though not un- 
worthy to be thought on in fit place), we will handle,^ 
what persons are apt to envy others ; what persons 
are most subject to be envied themselves; and 
what is the difference between public and private 

A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth 
virtue in others. For men's minds wiU either feed 
upon their own good or upon others' evU ; and who* 
wanteth the one will prey upon the other ; and whoso 
is out of hope to attain to another's virtue, wiU 
seek to come at even hand by depressing another's 

A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly 
envious. For to know much of other men's matters 
cannot be because all that ado* may concern his own 
estate ; therefore it must needs be that he taketh a 
kind of play-pleasure^ in looking upon the fortunes 
of others. Neither can he that mindeth but his own 
business find much matter for envy. For envy is a 
gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth 

^ Curiosities. Niceties. 

2 Handle. To treat, or discourse on. 

' Who. He who. 

* Ado. Fuss; difficulty. In Norse the infinitive was at dOf 
where the English says to do. Compare Shakspere's title, 'Much 
Ado Abont Nothing.' 

^ Play-pleasure is the pleasure of one looking on at a play. 


not keep home : Won est ruriosus, quin idem sit 

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious to- 
wards new men when they rise. For the distance 
' is altered ; and it is like a deceit of the eye, that 
when others come on they think themselves go back. 

Deformed persons, and eunuchs, and old men, 
and bastards, are envious. For he that cannot 
possibly mend his own case will do what he can to 
impair another's; except these defects light upon 
a very' brave and heroical nature, which thinketh 
to make his natural wants part of his honour; in 
that it should be said, that an eunuch, or a lame 
man, did such great matters ; affecting the honour 
of a miracle; as it was in Narses^ the eunuch, and 
Agesilaus and Tamberlanes,^ that were lame men. 

The same is the case of men that rise after calami- 
ties and misfortunes. For they are as men fallen 
out with the times ; and think other men's harms a 
redemption of their own sufferings. 

They that desire to excel in too many matters, 
out of levity and vain glory, are ever envious. For 
they cannot want work ; * it being impossible but 
many in some one of those things should surpass 

^ No one is curious without being also malevolent. The thought 
of the spite and malignity of idle curiosity is uppermost in Flu- • 
tarch's essay, Of Curiosity, or on Over-Busy Inquisitiveness into 
Things Impertinent. Plutarch's Morals (Yol. II. pp. 424 — 445. 
Ed. W. W. Goodwin). 

^Narses 478( ?)-573 ( ?) A.D., a general of the Byzantine empire, 
joint commander in Italy with Belisarius, 538 — 539. 

^ Timur, or Timour, or Timur Bey, also called Timur-Leng 
(Timur the Lame), corrupted into Tamerlane, 1333-1405. Tamer- 
lane was a Tatar conqueror who overran the provinces of Asia from 
Delhi to Damascus, and from the Sea of Aral to the Persian Gulf. 

* i.e. Matter for envy to work upon : ubique enim occurrunt ob- 
jecta invidim. S. 


them. Which was the character of Adrian ^ the Em- 
peror ; that mortally envied poets and painters and 
artificers, in works wherein he had a vein^ to excel. 

Lastly, near kinsfolks, and fellows in office, and 
those that have been bred together, are more apt to 
envy their equals when they are raised. For it doth 
upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and pointeth 
at them, and cometh oftener into their remembrance, 
and incurreth^ likewise more into the note of others ; 
and envy ever redoubleth from speech and fame. 
Cain's envy was the more vile and malignsint to- 
wards his brother Abel, because when his sacrifice 
was better accepted there was no body to look od. 
Thus much for those that are apt to envy. 

Concerning those that are more or less subject to 
envy : First, persons of eminent virtue, when they 
are advanced, are less envied. For their fortune 
seemeth but due unto them ; and no man envieth 
the payment of a debt, but rewards and liberality 
rather. Again, envy is ever joined with a compar- 
ing of a man's self; and where there is no com- 
parison, no envy ; and therefore kings are not envied 
but by kings. Nevertheless it is to be noted that 
unworthy persons are most envied at their first 
coming in, and afterwards overcome it better; 
whereas contrariwise,* persons of worth and merit 

1 Publius Aelius Hadrianus, 76-138, Roman emperor from 117 
to 138 A.D. Bacon is quoting Spartian. Aelii Spartiani Adrianus 
Imperator ad Diocletianum Augustum. xv., in Historiae Augustae 

^Veirt. Humor. 

"I 'm glad to see you in this merry vein." 

Shakspere. The Comedy of Errors, ii. 2. 

^ Incur. To run or rush into, Latin sense. 
* Contrariwiae. On the contrary. 

or ENVY 39 

are most envied when their fortune continueth long. 
For by that time, though their virtue be the same, 
yet it hath not the same lustre ; for fresh men grow 
up that darken it. 

Persons of noble blood are less envied in their 
rising. For it seemeth but right done to their birth. 
Besides, there seemeth not much added to their 
fortune ; and envy is as the sunbeams, that beat 
hotter upon a bank or steep rising ground, than up- 
on a flat. And for the same reason those that are 
advanced by degrees are less envied than those that 
are advanced suddenly and per saltum} 

Those that have joined with their honour great 
travels, cares, or perils, are less subject to envy. 
For men think that they earn their honours hardly, 
and pity them sometimes; and pity ever healeth 
envy. Wherefore you shall observe that the more 
deep and sober sort of politic persons, in their great- 
ness, are ever bemoaning themselves, what a life 
they lead; chanting a quanta patimur? Not that 
they feel it so, but only to abate the edge of envy. 
But this is to be understood of business that is laid 
upon men, and not such as they caU unto them- 
selves. For nothing increaseth envy more than an 
unnecessary and ambitious engrossing of business. 
And nothing doth extinguish envy more than for a 
great person to preserve aU other inferior ofScers in 
their full rights and preeminences of their places. 
For by that means there be so many screens be- 
tween him and envy. 

^ At one bound. 

2 How much we Buffer I 


Above all, those are most subject to envy, which 
carry the greatness of their fortunes in an insolent 
and proud manner ; being never well but while they 
are shewing how great they are, either by outward 
pomp, or by triumphing over all opposition or com- 
petition ; whereas wise men will rather do sacrifice 
to envy, in suffering themselves sometimes of ^ pur- 
pose to be crossed and overborne in things that do 
not much concern them. Notwithstanding so much 
is true, that the carriage of greatness in a plain and 
open manner (so it be without arrogancy^ and vain 
glory) doth draw less envy than if it be in a more 
crafty and cunning fashion. For in that course a 
man doth but disavow fortune ; and seemeth to be 
conscious of his own want in worth ; and doth but 
teach others to envy him. 

Lastly, to conclude this part ; as we said in the 
beginning that the act of envy had somewhat in it 
of witchcraft, so there is no other cure of envy but 
the cure of witchcraft ; and that is, to remove the lot 
(as they call it) and to lay it upon another. For 
which purpose, the wiser sort of great persons bring 
in ever upon the stage somebody upon whom to de- 
rive * the envy that would come upon themselves ; 
sometimes upon ministers and servants ; sometimes 
upon colleagues and associates ; and the like ; and 
for that turn there are never wanting some persons 
of violent and undertaking* natures, who, so they 

^ Of. With. Of purpose means with purpose or intention, inten- 

^ Arrogancy. Arrogance. "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: 
pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do 
I hate." Proverbs viii. 13. 

^ Derive. To divert, or turn the course of. 

* Undertaking. Enterprising. 


may have power and business, will take it at any 

Now, to speak of public envy. There is yet some 
good in public envy, whereas in private there is 
none. For public envy is as an ostracism, that 
eclipseth men when they grow too great. And there- 
fore it is a bridle also to great ones, to keep them 
within bounds. 

This envy, being in the Latin word invidia, goeth 
in the modern languages by the name of discontent- 
ment; of which we shall speak in handling Sedition. 
It is a disease in a state Kke to infection. For as 
infection spreadeth upon that which is sound, and 
tainteth it ; so when envy is gotten once into a state, 
it traduceth even the best actions thereof, and turn- 
eth them into an ill odour. And therefore there is 
little won by intermingling of plausible '^ actions. 
For that doth argue but a weakness and fear of envy, 
which hurteth so much the more ; as it is likewise 
usual in infections ; which if you fear them, you call 
them upon you. 

This public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon 
principal officers or ministers, rather than upon 
kings and estates themselves. But this is a sure 
rule, that if the envy upon the minister be great, 
when the cause of it in him is small ; or if the envy 
be general in a manner upon all the ministers of an 
estate ; then the envy (though hidden) is truly upon 
the state itself. And so much of public envy or dis- 
contentment, and the difference thereof from private 
envy, which was handled in the first place. 

^ Plausible. Deserving of applause. 


We will add this in general, touching the affec- 
tion of envy ; that of all other affections it is the 
most importune and continual. For of other affec- 
tions there is occasion given but now and then ; and 
therefore it was well said, invidia festos dies non agit:^ 
for it is ever working upon some or other. And it 
is also noted that love and envy do make a man pine, 
which other affections do not, because they are not 
so continual. It is also the vilest affection, and the 
most depraved ; for which cause it is the proper at- 
tribute of the devil, who is called The envious man, 
that soweth tares amongst the wheat by night ;^ as it 
always eometh to pass, that envy worketh subtilly, 
and in the dark ; and to the prejudice of good things, 
such as is the wheat. 

X. Of Love. 

The stage is more beholding^ to Love, than the life 
of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of 
comedies, and now and then of tragedies ; but in life 
it doth much mischief ; sometimes like a syren, some- 
times like a fury. You may observe, that amongst 
all the great and worthy persons (whereof the mem- 
ory remaineth, either ancient or recent), there is not 

* Envy keeps no holidays. 

^ "But "while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among 
the wheat, and went his way." Matthew xiii. 05. 

' BeholSifig. Beholden. A common Elizabethan error. "A jus- 
tice of peace sometime may be beholding to his friend for a man." 
Shahspere. The Mer*ry Wives of Windsor, i. 1, 


one that hath been transported to the mad degree 
of love : which shews that great spirits and great 
business do keep out this weak pdssion. You must 
except nevertheless Marcus Antonius/ the half part- 
ner of the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius,^ 
the decemvir and lawgiver ; whereof the former was 
indeed a voluptuous man, and inordinate ; but the 
latter was an austere and wise man : and therefore 
it seems (though rarely) that love can find entrance 
not only into an open heart, but also into a heart 
well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a 
poor saying of Epicurus, Satis magnum alter alteri 
theatrum sumus:^ as if man, made for the contem- 
plation of heaven and all noble objects, should do 
nothing but kneel before a httle idol, and make him- 
self a subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts 
are), yet of the eye ; which was given him for higher 
purposes. It is a strange thing to note the excess 
of this passion, and how it braves the nature and 
value of things, by this ; that the speaking in a per- 
petual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. 
Neither is it merely in the phrase ; for whereas it 
hath been weU said that the arch-flatterer, with whom 

1 Marcus Antonius, 83 — 30 B.C., Roman triumvir and general. 
Antony's love story is best told by Sliakspere in The Tragedy of 
Antony and Cleopatra. 

^Appius Crassus Claudius was one of the decemvirs, 451-449 
B.C. The tragical story of Appius and Virginia, first told by Livy, 
reappears, in English, in The Doctor's Tale of Chaucer, in Grower's 
Confessio Amantis, and in three different tragedies, one written by 
John Webster in Bacon's time. 

* We are to one another a spectacle great enough. Epicurus, 
343-270 B.C., was the founder of the Epicurean philosophy which 
took pleasure to be the highest good. Bacon quotes the saying of 
Epicurus from L. Annaei Senecae ad Luciliurn Epistularum Mora- 
livm Liber I. Epistula Til. 11. The quotation occurs again in 
the Advancement of Learning. I. Hi. 7. 


all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's 
self ;^ certainly the lover is more. For there was 
never proud man thought so absurdly well of him- 
self as the lover doth of the person loved ; and there- 
fore it was well said, That it is impossible to love and 
to be wise? Neither doth this weakness appear to 
others only, and not to the party loved ; but to the 
loved most of all, except the love be reciproque.^ 
For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded 
either with the reciproque or with an inward and 
secret contempt. By how much the more men 
ought to beware of this passion, which loseth not 
only other things, but itself. As for the other losses, 
the poet's relation doth well figure them ; That he 
that preferred Hel«na, quitted the gifts of Juno and 
Pallas. For whosoever esteemeth too much of 
amorous affection quitteth both riches and wisdom. 
This passion hath his floods in the very times of 
weakness ; which are great prosperity and great ad- 
versity ; though this latter hath been less observed ; 
both which times kindle love, and make it more 
fervent, and therefore shew it to be the child of 
f oUy. They do best, who if they cannot but admit 
love, yet make it keep quarter ; * and sever it wholly 
from their serious affairs and actions of life ■ for if 
it check 5 once with business, it troubleth men's for- 
tunes, and maketh men that they can no ways® be 

^Plutarch. Be adulatore et amico. 1. 

' Amare et sapet-e vix Deo conceditur. It is hardly granted by 
God to love and to be wise. Publilii Syri Mimi Sententiae. 15. 

^ Reciproque. Reciprocal. 

* Quarter. Proper or appointed place; now used in the plural 
'quarters.* ' 

^ Check with. Interfere with. 

° Way. Wise ; no ways means in no wise. 



true to their own ends. I know not how, but mar- 
tial men are given to love : I think it is but as they 
are given to wine ; for perils commonly ask to be 
paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature a secret 
inchnation and motion towards love of others, which 
if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth nat- 
urally spread itself towards many, and maketh men 
become humane and charitable ; as it is seen some- 
time in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind; 
friendly love perf ecteth it ; but wanton love cor- 
rupteth and embaseth it. 

XI. Op Great Place. 

Men in great place are thrice servants : servants 
of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; 
and servants of business. So as they have no 
freedom; neither in their persons, nor in their 
actions, nor in their times. It is a strange de- 
sire, to seek power and to lose liberty: or to 
seek power over others and to lose power over a 
man's self. The rising unto place is laborious; 
and by pains men come to greater pains ; and it is 
sometimes base; and by indignities ^ men come to 

^ Indignity, Conduct involving shame or disgrace ; a disgraceful 

"Fie on the pelfe for which good name is sold, 
And honour with indignity debased." 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Book Y. Canto xi. Stanza 63. 

"Whoever is apt to hope good from others is diligent to please 
them; but he that believes his powers strong enough to force their 
own way, commonly tries only to please himself." Dr. Samuel 
Johnson, Lives of the EnglisK Poets. John Gay, 


dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress 
is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a 
melancholy thing. Gum non sis qui fueris, non esse 
cur velis vivere. ^ Nay, retire men cannot when they 
would, neither will they when it were reason j^ but 
are impatient of privateness,^ even in age and sick- 
ness, which require the shadow ; * like old towns- 
men that will be still sitting at their street door, 
though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly 
great persons had need to borrow other men's 
opinions, to think themselves happy; for if they 
judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it : but 
if they think with themselves what other men think 
of them, and that other men would fain be as they 
are, then they are happy as it were by report ; when 
perhaps they find the contrary within.^ For they 
are the first that find their own griefs, though they 
be the last that find their own faults. Certainly 
men in great fortunes are strangers to themselves, 
and while they are in the puzzle of business they 
have no time to tend their health either of body or 
mind. Illi mors gravis incubat, qui notus nimis 

^Since you are not what you were, there is no reason why you 
should wish to live. M, TuUii Ciceronis Epistolarum ad FamUiares 
Liber YII. Hi. (Ad Marium). 

^ Reason. Reasonable ; the idiom is French, and was frequent 
in English from about 1400 to 1650, though now rare. "And the 
twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, 
It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve 
tables." Acts vi. 2. 

^ Privateness. Privacy, retirement. 

^Shadow. Shade, retirement. 

"Old politicians chew on wisdom past, 
And totter on in business to the last." 

Pope. Epistle I. 11. 228-229. 

* "He who looks for applause from jwithout has all his happiness 
in another's keeping." Oliver Goldsmith. The Good-natured Man. v. 


omnibus, ignohis moritur sUn,} In place ttere is 
license to do good and evil ; whereof the latter is a 
curse : for in evil the best condition is not to wiU ; 
the second not to can.^ But power to do good is 
the true and lawfid end of aspiring. For good 
thoughts (though God accept them) yet towards 
men are little better than good dreams, except they 
be put in act ; and that cannot be without power 
and place, as the vantage and commanding 
ground. Merit and good works is the end of man's 
motion; and conscience'' of the same is the accom- 
plishment of man's rest. For if a man can be par- 
taker of Grod's theatre, he shall likewise be partaker 
of God's rest. Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera 
qua fecerunt manus sum, vidit quod omnia essent bona 
nimis;^ and then the sabbath. In the discharge of 
thy place set before thee the best examples ; for imita- 
tion is a globe ^ of precepts. And after a time set 
before thee thine own example ; and examine thy- 
self strictly whether thou didst not best at first. 

^ Death presses heavily upon him who dies known too well by 
all, but unknown to himself. Seneca, Tkyestea. XI. 401—403. 

- Can. To know ; the verb is independent and bears its original 

"She could the Bible in the holy tongue." 

Ben Jonson. The Magnetic Lady. i. 5. 

^ Conscience. Consciousness. 

"Her virtue and the conscience of her worth." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. Till. 502. 

* And God, turning, looked upon the works which his hands had 
made and saw that all were very good. Bacon has here put into 
his own Latin Genesis i. 31 : "And God saw every thing that he 
had made, and, behold, it was very good." Yiditque Deus cuncta 
quae fecerat: et erant valde bona, the Tulgate reads. 
° Globe. Circle. 

"him round 
A fflobe of fiery seraphim enclos'd 
With bright imblazonry." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. II. 511-513. 


Neglect not also the examples of those that have' 
carried themselves ill in the same place ; not to set 
off thyself by taxing their memory, but to direct 
thyself what to avoid. Reform therefore, without 
bravery! or scandal of former times and persons ; 
but yet set it down to thyself as well to create good 
precedents as to follow them. Eeduce things to 
the first institution, and observe wherein and how 
they have degenerate ; but yet ask counsel of both 
times ; of the ancient time, what is best ; and of the 
latter time, what is fittest. Seek to make thy course 
regular,^ that men may know beforehand what 
they may expect; but be not too positive and 
peremptory; and express thyself well when thou 
digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of 
thy place ; but stir not questions of jurisdiction : 
and rather assume thy right in silence and de 
facto,^ than voice it with claims and challenges. 
Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places; 
and think it more honour to direct in chief 
than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite 
helps and advices touching the execution of thy 
place ; and do not drive away such as bring thee 
information, as meddlers ; but except of them in 
good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four ; 
delays, corruption, roughness, and facility.* For 

^Bravery. Rashness. 

^ Regular. Governed by rules, consistent, steady. 

"De facto. As a matter of (act. 

* Facility. Lack of firmness, pliability. "No man is fit to 
govern great societies who hesitates ahout disobliging the few who 
have access to him for the sake of the many whom he will never 
see. The facility of Charles was such as has perhaps never been 
found in any man of equal sense." Macaulay. History of England. 
Vol. I. Chap. II. ^Character of Charles II. 


delays ; give easy access ; keep times appointed ; go 
through with that which is in hand, and interlace not 
business but of necessity. For corruption ; do not 
only bind thine own hands or thy servants' hands 
from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from 
offering. For integrity used doth the one ; but in- 
tegrity professed, and with a manifest detestation 
of bribery, doth the other. And avoid not only the 
fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found vari- 
able, and changeth manifestly without manifest 
cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. Therefore 
always when thou changest thine opinion or 
course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together 
with the reasons that move thee to change ; and do 
not think to steal ^ it. A servant or a favourite, 
if he be inward,^ and no other apparent cause of 
esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close* 
corruption. For roughness ; it is a needless cause 
of discontent : severity breedeth fear, but roughness 
breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought 
to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility ; it 
is worse than bribery. For bribes come but now 
and then; but if importunity or idle respects* 

^ steal. To conceal. 

*' 'T were good, methinks, to steal our marriage." 

Shakspere. The Taming of the Shrew. Hi. 3, 

^Inward. Intimate, confidential. 

"For what is inward between us, let it pass." 

Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost. v. T. 
^ Close. Secret; of persons, secretive, sly. 

"Close villain, I 
Will have this secret from thy heart, or rip 
Thy heart to find it." 

Shakspere. Cymheline. iii. 5. 

* Respects. Considerations. 

"But the respects thereof are nice and trivial." 

Shakspere. King Richard III. Hi. 7. 


lead a man, he shall never be without. As Sal- 
omon saith, To respect persons is not good; for 
such a man will transgress for a piece of Iread} 
It is most true that was anciently spoken, A place 
sheweth the man. And it sheweth some to the better, 
and some to the worse. Omnium consensu capax 
imperii, nisi imperasset,^ saith Tacitus of Galba; 
but of Vespasian he saith. Solus imperantium, 
Vespasianus mutatus in melius:^ though the one 
was' meant of sufaciency,* the other of manners 
and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy 
and generous spirit, whom honour amends. For 
honour is, or should be, the place of virtue ; and as 
in nature things move violently to their place and 
calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is vio- 
lent, in authority settled and calm.^ All rising to 
great place is by a winding stair ; and if there be 
factions, it is good to side a man's self whilst he is 
in the rising, and to balance himself when he is 
placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly 

^Proverbs xxviii. 21. In the Advancement of Jjeaming, II. 
xcdii. 6, Bacon quotes this proverb from the Vulgate, and goes right 
on with the distinction just made here, that facility is worse than 
bribery: "Qui cognoscit in judicio faeiem, non bene facit ; iste et 
pro buccella panis deseret veritatem. Here is noted, that a judge 
were better be a briber than a respecter of persons ; for a corrupt 
judge offendeth not so lightly as a facile." 

2 If he had not governed, all would have thought him capable of 
governing. Cornelii Taciti Historiarum Liber I. Caput 49. 

^ Vespasian alone as emperor changed for the better. Et am- 
bigua de Yespasiano fama solusque omnium ante se prindpuTn in 
melius mutatus est. Cornelii Taciti Historiarum Liber I. Caput 
50. In the Advancement of Learning, II. xxii. 5, Bacon quotes 
Tacitus's criticism of Vespasian again. Solus Vespasianus mutatus in 

* Sufficiency. De arte imperatoria, in the Latin text, that is, 

^ "So that it is no marvel though the soul so placed enjoy no rest, 
if that principle be true, that Motus rerum est rapidus extra locem, 
placidus in loco." Advancement of Learning, II. x. 2, 


and tenderly ; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will 
sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou have 
colleagues, respect them, and rather call them when 
they look not for it, than exclude them when they 
have reason to look to be called. Be not too sensi- 
ble or too remembering of thy place in conversa- 
tion and private answers to suitors ; but let it rather 
be said, When he sits in place he is another man. 

XII. Of Boldness. 

It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy 
a wise man's consideration. Question was asked 
of Demosthenes,^ what was the chief part of an orator 9 
he answered, action : what next ? action : what next 
again ? action. He said it that knew it best, and 
had by nature himself no advantage in that he 
commended. A strange thing, that that part of an 
orator which is but superficial, and rather the virtue 
of a player, should be placed so high, above those 
other noble parts of invention, elocution, and the 
rest ; nay almost alone, as if it were all in all. But 
the reason is plain. There is in human nature 
generally more of the fool than of the wise ; and 
therefore those faculties by which the foolish part 
of men's minds is taken are most potent. Wonder- 
ful like is the case of Boldness, in civil business ; 

^Demosthenes, born 384 or 385, died 322 B.C., the greatest 
Greek orator. His best orations are the three PhUippice, 351, 344, 
and 341 B.C., and the famous speech. On the Crown, 330 B.C. 


what first? Boldness: what second and third? 
Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance 
and baseness, far inferior to other parts. But never- 
theless it doth fascinate and bind hand and foot 
those that are either shallow in judgment or weak 
in courage, which are the greatest part ; yea and 
prevaileth with wise men at weak times. Therefore 
we see it hath done wonders in popular states ; but 
with senates and princes less ; and more ever upon 
the first entrance of bold persons into action than 
soon after ; for boldness is an iU keeper of promise. 
Surely as there are mountebanks^ for the natural 
body, so are there mountebanks for the politic^ 
body ; men that undertake great cures, and perhaps 
have been lucky in two or three experiments, but 
want the grounds of science, and therefore cannot 
hold out. Nay you shall see a bold fellow many 
times do Mahomet's miracle. Mahomet' made the 
people believe that he would call an hiU to him, and 
from the top of it offer up his prayers for the ob- 
servers of his law. The people assembled ; Mahomet 
called the hiU to come to him, again and again ; and 
when the hUl stood still, he was never a whit* 
abashed, but said. If the hill will not come to Mahomet, 
Mahomet will go to the hill. So these men, when they 
have promised great matters and failed most shame- 

1 Mountehanlc. A quack doctor who mounts a bench or platform 
to sell his wares. Ben Jonson gives a good description of an 
Elizabethan mountebank in his satirical comedy, Yolpone. ii. 1. 

' PoUtic. Political. 

^Mohammed, or Mahomet, 'the praised one,' 570 — 632 A.D., 
founder of Mohammedanism, or Islam ('surrender,' namely, to 

* Whit, The smallest part; a jot, tittle, or iota: often used 
adverbially, and generally with a negative. "For I suppose I was 
not a whit behind the very chietest apostles." //. Corinthians xi. 5. 


fully, yet (if they have the perfection of boldness) 
they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and 
no more ado. Certainly to men of great judgment, 
bold persons are a sport to behold ; nay and to the 
vulgar also, boldness has somewhat of the ridiculous. 
For if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt 
you not but great boldness is seldom without some 
absurdity. Especially it is a sport to see, when a 
bold fellow is out of countenance ; for that puts his 
face into a most shrunken and wooden posture ; as 
needs it must ; for in bashftdness the spirits do a 
little go and come ; but with bold men, upon like 
occasion, they stand at a stay ; like a stale ^ at chess, 
where it is no mate, but yet the game cannot stir. 
But this last were fitter for a satire than for a seri- 
ous observation. This is well to be weighed ; that 
boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers 
and inconveniences. Therefore it is ill in counsel, 
good in execution ; so that the right use of bold 
persons is, that they never command in chief, but 
be seconds, and under the direction of others. For 
in counsel it is good to see dangers ; and in execu- 
tion not to see them, except they be very great. 

XIII. Of Goodness and G-oodness of Nature. 

I TAKE Goodness in this sense, the affecting of the 
weal of men, which is that the Grecians call Philan- 
thropia; and the word humanity (as it is used) is a 

^ stale. Stale-mate, in chess, the position of a king when he 
cannot move but into check. 


little too light to express it. Goodness I call the 
habit, and Goodness of Nature the inclination. 
This of all virtues and dignities of the mind is the 
greatest ; being the character of the Deity : and 
without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched 
thing ; no better than a kind of vermin. Goodness 
answers to the theological virtue Charity, and ad- 
mits no excess, but error. The desire of power in 
excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of 
knowledge in excess caused man to fall : but in 
charity there is no excess ; neither can angel or 
man come in danger by it. The inclination to good- 
ness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man ; in- 
somuch that if it issue not towards men, it will take 
unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the 
Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to 
beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds ; insomuch 
as Busbechius^ reporteth, a Christian boy in Con- 
stantinople had like to have been stoned for gagging 
in a waggishness a long-billed f owl.^ Errors indeed 
in this virtue of goodness or charity may be com- 
mitted. The Italians have an ungracious proverb, 
Tanto buon che vol niente ; 80 good, that he is good 
for nothing. And one of the doctors of Italy, 
Nicholas Machiavel,^ had the confidence to put in 
writing, almost in plain terms, That the Christian 

^Augier Ghislen de Biisbec, or Busbecq, or Busbecque (Latin- 
ized, Busbechius here, but better, Busbequius), 1522—1592, a 
Flemish diplomatist and scholar, ambassador of Ferdinand I. at 

^ The bird was a goat-sucker, -which the goldsmith fastened over 
his door with wings spread and jaws distended. The story will be 
found in Busbequius's letter from Constantinople, p. 179 of ed. 
1633. S. 

'Niccol5 Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Florentine statesman, author 
of Discourses on the First Decade of T. LiviuSj the Prince, and a 


faith had given up good men in prey to those that are 
tyrannical and unjust} Which he spake^ because in- 
deed there was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so 
much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion 
doth. Therefore, to avoid the scandal and the 
danger both, it is good to take knowledge ^ of the 
errors of an habit so excellent. Seek the good of 
other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or 
fancies; for that is but facility or softness; which 
taketh an honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou 
-^sop's cock a gem, who would be better pleased 
and happier if he had a barley-corn.^ The example 
of God teacheth the lesson truly ; He sendeth his 
rain, and maJceth his sun to shine, upon the just and 
unjust;^ but he doth not rain wealth, nor shine 

History of Florence. Bacon was much attracted towards Machia- 
velli, who was a kindred spirit, a man of acute intellect and no 
compelling conscience. 

^ Disc or si sopra La Prima Deca di T. Livio. II. 2. 
2 Knowledge. Cognizance ; notice ; only in the phrase, 'to take 
knowledge of,' that is, *to take cognizance or notice of, to observe.' 
"Take you, as 't were, some distant knowledge of him." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, ii. 1. 

^ "As a Cock was turning up a Dunghill, he spy'd a Jewel. 
Well (says he to himself), this sparkling Foolery now to a Lapi- 
dary in my place, would have been the making of him, but as for any 
Use or Purpose of mine, a Barley-Corn had been worth Forty on 't. 
"The Moral. 

"He that 's Industrious in an honest Calling, shall never fail of 
a Blessing. 'T is the part of a wise Man to prefer Things neces- 
sary before Matters of Curiosity, Ornament, or Pleasure." Fable I. 
A Cock and a Diamond. Fables of Aesop and other Eminent 
Mytholo gists : with Morals and Kefleodons. By Sir Roger L'Es- 
trange, Et. 

"When peace was renewed with the French in England, divers 
of the great counsellors were presented from the French with 
jewels. The Lord Henry Howard was omitted. Whereupon the 
King said to him: My Lord, how haps it that you have not a 
jewel as well as the rest? My Lord answered again (alluding to 
the fable of Aesop) : Non sum Gallus, itaque non reperi gemmam.** 
Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 203 (34). 

*"FoT he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and 
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew v. 45. 


honour and virtues, upon men equally. Common 
benefits are to be communicate with all ; but peculiar 
benefits with choice. And beware how in making 
the portraiture thou breakest the pattern. For 
divinity maketh the love of ourselves the pattern ; 
the love of our neighbours but the portraiture. SeU 
all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and follow me: ^ 
but sell not all thou hast, except thou come and 
follow me ; that is, except thou have a vocation 
wherein thou mayest do as much good with little 
means as with great ; for otherwise in feeding the 
streams thou driest the fountain. Neither is there 
only a habit of goodness, directed by right reason ; 
but there is in some men, even in nature, a disposi- 
tion towards it; as on the other side there is a 
natural malignity. For there be that in their nature 
do not affect the good of others. The lighter sort 
of malignity turneth but to a crossness, or froward- 
ness, or aptness to oppose, or dif&cUness,^ or the 
like ; but the deeper sort to envy and mere mischief. 
Such men in other men's calamities are, as it were, 
in season, and are ever on the loading^ part : not 
so good as the dogs that licked Lazarus' sores ; * but 
hke flies that are still buzzing upon any thing that 
is raw ; misanthropi,^ that make it their practice to 
bring men to the bough, and yet have never a tree 

^ "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to 
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven ; and come and 
follow me." Matthew xix. 21. 

- Digicilnesa. Unreasonableness, stubbornness. 

* Loading. Present participle active, 'that loads' ; hence burden- 
ing, aggravating, oppressive. 

* Luke xvi. 21. 

° Misanthropi. Misanthropes, that is, from the Greek, haters of 


for the piirpose iu their gardens, as Timon^ had. 
Such dispositions are the very errours of human 
nature ; and yet they are the fittest timber to make 
great politiques of; like to knee timber,^ that is 
good for ships, that are ordained to be tossed ; but 
not for building houses, that shall stand firm. The 
parts and signs of goodness are many. If a man 
be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shews he 
is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no 
island cut off from other lands, but a continent that 
joins to them. If he be compassionate towards the 
afflictions of others, it shews that his heart is like 
the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives 
the balm. If he easily pardons and remits offences, 
it shews that his mind is planted above injuries ; so 
that he cannot be shot. If he be thankful for small 
benefits, it shows that he weighs men's minds, 
and not their trash. But above all, if he have St. 
Paul's perfection, that he would wish to be an 
anathema^ from Christ for the salvation of his 
brethren, it shews much of a divine nature, and a 
kind of conformity with Christ himself. 

^ Timon of Athens, the Misanthrope. Plutarch, in his Life of 
Marcus Antonius, tells the story that Timon one day mounted the 
rostrum in the market-place to announce that he had a fig-tree in 
his garden on which many citizens had hanged themselves, that he 
meant to cut the fig-tree down to build on the spot, and thought it 
well to make the fact known, so that, "if any of you be desperate, 
you may there go hang yourselves." 

^Knee-timber. Tiniber having a natural angular bend, suitable 
for making 'knees' in shipbuilding or carpentry, 

2 Anathema, from the Greek, meaning, anything devoted, espe- 
cially to evil, a curse. The Bible reference is to Romans ix, 3 : 
"For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my 
brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Compare Advance- 
ment of Learning, II. xx. 7. 


XIV. Of Nobility. 

We will speak of Nobility first as a portion of 
an estate ; ^ then as a condition of particular per- 
sons. A monarchy where there is no nobility at 
all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny ; as that of 
the Turks. For nobility attempers sovereignty, and 
draws the eyes of the people somewhat aside from 
the line royal. But for democracies, they need it 
not ; and they are commonly more quiet and less 
subject to sedition, than where there are stirps^ 
of nobles. For men's eyes are upon the business, 
and not upon the persons ; or if upon the persons, 
it is for the business sake, as fittest, and not for 
flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, 
notwithstanding their diversity of religion and of 
cantons. For utility is their bond, and not re- 
spects.* The united provinces of the Low Coun- 
tries in their government excel ; for where there 
is an equality, the consultations are more indiffer- 
ent, and the payments and tributes more cheer- 
ful. A great and potent nobility addeth majesty 
to a monarch, but diminisheth power ; and putteth 
life and spirit into the people, but presseth their 
fortune. It is well when nobles are not too great 
for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet main- 
tained in that height, as the insolency* of in- 
feriors may be broken upon them before it come on 

^ Stirp. Stocic, race, family. 

= Estate. State. 

^ Respects. Personal considerations, 

* Jnsolency. Insolence. 


too fast upon tlie majesty of kings. A mimerous 
nobility causeth poverty and inconvenience in a 
state; for it is a surcharge^ of expense; and be- 
sides, it being of necessity that many of the nobility 
fall in time to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind 
of disproportion between honour and means. 

As for nobility in particular persons ; it is a reve- 
rend thing to see an ancient castle or building not in 
decay ; or to see a fair timber tree sound and per- 
fect. How much more to behold an ancient noble 
family, which hath stood against the waves and 
weathers of time. For new nobility is but the act of 
power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. Those 
that are first raised to nobility are commonly more 
virtuous, but less innocent, than their descendants ; 
for there is rarely any rising but by a commixture 
of good and evil arts. But it is reason^ the memory 
of their virtues remain to their posterity, and their 
faults die with themselves.* Nobility of birth 
commonly abateth industry ; and he that is not in- 
dustrious, envieth him that is. Besides, noble per- 
sons cannot go much higher : and he that standeth 
at a stay* when others rise, can hardly avoid 

" Surcharge. An extra charge, 

^ Reason. A matter agreeable to reason; the idiom is from the 
old French, it est raison, c'est (bien) raison. 

^ Compare the turn of this thought as twice expressed by Shak- 

"The evil that men do lives after them; 
The good is oft interred with their bones." 

ShaJcapere. Julius Caesar, in. 2. 

"Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues 
We write in water." 

ShaJcspere. King Benry YIII. iv. 2. 

* Stay. Standstill; at a stay, that is, at a standstill. 


motions! of envy. On the other side, nobility ex- 
tinguisheth the passive envy from others towards 
them ; because they are in possession of honour. 
Certainly, kings that have able men of their nobil- 
ity shall find ease in employing them, and a better 
slide^ into their business; for people naturally 
bend to them, as born in some sort to command. 

XV. Of Seditions and Troubles. 

Shepherds of people had need know the calendars 
of tempests in state ; which are commonly greatest, 
when things grow to equality ; as natural tempests 
are greatest about the Equinoctial And as there 
are certain hollow blasts of wind and secret swell- 
ings of seas before a tempest, so are there in 
states : 

Ille etiam csecos instare tnmultus 

Seepe monet, fraudesque et operta tumesoere bella.* 

Libels and licentious discourses against the state, 
when they are frequent and open ; and in like sort, 
false news often running up and down to the dis- 
advantage of the state, and hastily embraced ; are 

1 Motions, Natural impvXses, especially of the mind or soul. 
"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were 
by the law, did work in our members, to bring forth fruit unto 
death." Romans vii. 5. 

^ Slide. Smooth and easy passage. 

^Equinoctia. Equinoxes. 

* He even often warns that secret tumults are impending, and 
that treason and open wars are ready to burst forth. TergU, 
Cfeorgicon Liber I, 464-465, 


amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil i giving the 
pedigree of Fame, saith she was sister to the Giants : 

lUam Terra parens, ira irritata Deorum, 
Extremam (ut perhibent) Coeo Enoeladoque sororem 

As if fames ^ were the relics of seditions past; but 
they are no less indeed the preludes of seditions to 
come. Howsoever he noteth it right, that seditious 
tumults and seditious fames differ no more but as 
brother and sister, masculine and feminine ; especi- 
ally if it come to that, that the best actions of a 
state, and the, most plausible, and which ought to 
give greatest contentment, are taken in ill sense, 
and traduced : for that shews the envy great, as 
Tacitus saith, conflata magna invidia, seu dene seu male 
gesta prenmnt.^ Neither doth it follow, that because 
these fames are a sign of troubles, that^ the sup- 
pressing of them with too much severity should be a 
remedy of troubles. For the despising of them many 
times checks them best ; and the going about to 
stop them doth but mgk;e a wonder long-lived. Also 

^ Publius Vergilius Maro, 70—19 B.C., a famous Roman epic, 
didactic, and idyllic poet. He wrote the Aeneid, ten Bucolics or 
Eclogues, and four Georgies, 

^ Irritated by the vengeance of the gods, teeming Earth, as they 
relate, brought her forth last, sister to Coeus and Eneeladus. 
Yergil. A.eneido3 Liber IT. 178—180. Bacon also quotes this pas- 
sage from the Aeneid in the Advancement of Learning, II. iv. 4. 
Compare also in the Wisdom of the Ancients, The Sister of the 
Giants; or Fame. 

^ Fame. Rumor; report. "And the fam.e thereof was heard in 
Pharaoh's house, saying, Joseph's brethren are come: and it 
pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants." Genesis xlv. 16. 

* When great unpopularity is excited, they condemn acts, both 
good and bad. Tacitus. Historiarum Liber I. 7. Bacon quotes 
the sense, not the exact language. 

° So in original. One of .the thats should of course be omitted. S, 


that kind of obedience whieli Tacitus speaketh of 
is to be held suspected : Urant in officio, sed tamen 
qui mallmt mandata imperantium interpretari quam 
exequi;^ disputing, excusing, cavilling upon man- 
dates and directions, is a kind of shaking off the 
yoke, and assay^ of disobedience ; especially if in 
those disputings they which are for the direction 
speak fearfully and tenderly, and those that are 
against it audaciously. 

Also, as MaehiaveP noteth well, when princes, 
that ought to be common parents, make themselves 
as a party, and lean to a side, it is as a boat that is 
overthrown by uneven weight on the one side ;* as 
was weU seen in the time of Henry the Third ^ of 
France ; for first himself entered league for the ex- 
tirpation of the Protestants ; and presently after the 
same league was turned upon himself. For when 
the authority of princes is made but an accessary to 
a cause, and that there be other bands that tie faster 
than the band of sovereignty, kings begin to be put 
almost out of possession. 

Also, when discords, and quarrels, and factions, 
are carried openly and audaciously, it is a sign the 
reverence of government is lost. For the motions 
of the greatest persons ia a government ought to 
be as the motions of the planets under primum 

'They were in office, but chose rather to interpret the conunands 
of their rulers than to execute them. Tacitus. JSistoriarum 
Liber I. 7. (Sense quoted again, not the language.) 

2 Assay. Trial. 

^ The Italian translation omits the name of Machiavel, and says 
only un scrittore. S. 

* Discorsi sopra La Prima Deca di T. Livio. III. 27. 

"Henry III., of Valois, 1551-1589, King of Prance, 1574- 


mobile;^ (according to the old opinion,) which is, 
that every of them^ is carried swiftly by the highest 
motion, and softly in their own motion. And there- 
fore, when great ones in their own particular motion 
move violently, and, as Tacitus expresseth it well, 
liberius quam ut imperantium meminissent,^ it is a 
sign the orbs are out of frame. For reverence is that 
wherewith princes are girt from God ; who threat- 
eneth the dissolving thereof; Solvam dngula re,- 

So when any of the four piUars of government 
are mainly shaken or weakened (which are Religion, 
Justice, Counsel, and Treasure), men had need to 
pray for fair weather. But let us pass from this 
part of predictions (concerning which, nevertheless, 
more light may be taken from that which f olloweth) ; 
and let us speak first of the Materials of seditions ; 
then of the Motives of them; and thirdly of the 

Concerning the Materials of seditions. It is a 
thing well to be considered ; for the surest way to 
prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take 
away the matter of them. For if there be fuel pre- 
pared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall 
come that shall set it on fire. The matter of 
seditions is of two kinds ; much poverty and much 

^'Prirtium mobile. Literally, the movable first; in the Ptolemaic 
system of astronomy the primum mobile was the tenth or outermost 
of the revolving spheres of the universe. It was supposed to re- 
volve from east to west in twenty-four hours, and to carry the 
nine inner spheres along with it in its motion ; hence, any great or 
first source of motion. 

'^ Every of theriL. Each of them, every one of them. 

^ More freely than is consistent with allegiance to their rulers. 

* I will loosen the girdles of Kings. "He looseth the bond of 
Kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle." Job xii. 18. 


discontentment. It is certain, so many overthrown 
estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan^ noteth 
well the state of Eome before the civil war, 

Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore fosnus, 
Hino concussa fides, et multis utile 1)61111111.2 

This same multis utile helium, is an assured and in- 
fallible sign of a state disposed to seditions and 
troubles. And if this poverty and broken estate' 
in the better sort be joined with a want and neces- 
sity in the mean people, the danger is imminent and 
great. For the rebellions of the belly are the 
worst. As for discontentments, they are in the 
poUtie body like to humours in the natural, which 
are apt to gather a preternatural heat and to in- 
flame. And let no prince measure the danger of 
them by this, whether they be just or unjust : for 
that were to imagine people to be too reasonable ; 
who do often spurn at their own good : nor yet by 
this, whether the griefs* whereupon they rise be in 
fact great or small : for they are the most danger- 
ous discontentments where the fear is greater than 
the feeling : Dolendi modus, timendi non item.^ Be- 
sides, in great oppressions, the same things that 

^Marcus Annaeus Lucan, 39 — 65 A.D., a Roman poet; he wrote 
the Civilis Belli Libri X, called the Pharsalia, an epic poem in ten 
books on the war between Caesar and Pompey. 

^ Uine usura vorax, avidumgue in tempore foenus, 

Et concussa fides; et multis utile beUum. 

Lucan. Civilis Belli Liber I. 181—182. 
Hence voracious usury, and interest rapidly compounding; hence 
broken faith, and war profitable to many. 

* Estate. Condition. 

* Griefs. Grievances. 

"Be factious for redress of all these griefs." 

Shakspere. Julius Caesar, i. 3, 

" There is » limit to suffering, but to fear not so, 


provoke the patience, do withal mate the courage ; 
but in fears it is not so. Neither let any prince or 
state be secure concerning discontentments, because 
they have been often, or have been long, and yet 
no peril hath ensued : for as it is true that every 
vapour or fume doth not turn into a storm ; so it is 
nevertheless true that storms, though they blow 
over divers times, yet may fall at last ; and, as the 
Spanish proverb noteth well, TJie cord brealceth at 
the last iy the weakest pull. 

The Causes and Motives of Seditions are, innova- 
tion in religion ; taxes ; alteration of laws and cus- 
toms ; breaking of privileges ; general oppression ; 
advancement of unworthy persons; strangers; 
dearths ; disbanded soldiers ; factions grown desper- 
ate; and whatsoever, in offending people, joineth 
and knitteth them in a common cause. 

For the Remedies ; there may be some general 
preservatives, whereof we will speak: as for the 
just cure, it must answer to the particular disease : 
and so be left to counsel rather than rule. 

The first remedy or prevention is to remove by 
all means possible that material cause of sedition 
whereof we spake ; which is, want and poverty in 
the estate. To which purpose serveth, the opening 
and well-balancing of trade ; the cherishing of man- 
ufactures ; the banishing of idleness ; the repressing 
of waste and excess by sumptuary la^s; the im- 
provement and husbanding of the soil ; the regulat- 
ing of prices of things vendible ; the moderating of 
taxes and tributes, and the like. Generally, it is to 
be foreseen that the population of a kingdom (es- 


pecially if it be not mown down by wars) do not 
exceed the stock of the kingdom which should main- 
tain them. Neither is the population to be reckoned 
only by number ; for a smaller number that spend 
more and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner 
than a greater number that live lower and gather 
more. Therefore the multiplying of nobility and 
other degrees of quality^ in an over proportion to 
the common people, doth speedily bring a state to 
necessity ; and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy ; 
for they bring nothing to the stock; and in like 
manner, when more are bred scholars than prefer- 
ments can take off. 

It is likewise to be remembered, that forasmuch 
as the increase of any estate must be upon the for- 
eigner (for whatsoever is somewhere gotten is some- 
where lost), there be but three things which one 
nation selleth unto another; the commodity as na- 
ture yieldeth it ; the manufacture ; and the vecture, 
or carriage. So that if these three wheels go, wealth 
will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many 
times to pass, that materiam superabit opus; ^ that the 
work and carriage is more worth than the material, 
and enricheth a state more ; as is notably seen in the 
Low-Countrymen, who have the best mines above 
ground in the world. 

Above all things, good policy is to be used that 

* Quality. Nobility or gentry. 

"The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires. 
And gentlemen of blood and quality." 

Shakspere. King Henry Y, iv. 8. 

2 The work will surpass the material. Bacon is quoting Ovid, 
literally for once, materiem superabit opus. P, Ovidii Nasonis 
Metamorphoseon Liber II. S. 


the treasure and monies in a state be not gathered 
into few hands. For otherwise a state may have a 
great stock, and yet starve. And money is like 
muck, not good except it be spread.^ This is done 
chiefly by suppressing, or at the least keeping a strait 
hand upon the devouring trades of usury, ingross- 
ing,2 great pasturages, and the like. 

For removing discontentments, or at least the 
danger of them ; there is in every state (as we know) 
two portions of subjects ; the nobless and the com- 
monalty. "When one of these is discontent, the 
danger is not great ; for common people are of slow 
motion, if they be not excited by the greater sort ; 
and the greater sort are of small strength, except 
the multitude be apt and ready to move of them- 
selves. Then is the danger, when the greater sort 
do but wait for the troubling of the waters amongst 
the meaner, that then they may declare themselves. 
The poets feign, that the rest of the gods woidd have 
bound Jupiter ; which he hearing of, by the counsel 
of Pallas, sent for Briareus, with his hundred hands, 
to come in to his aid.^ An emblem, no doubt, to 
show how safe it is for monarchs to make sure of 
the good will of common people. 

To give moderate liberty for griefs and discontent- 
ments to evaporate (so it be without too great inso- 
lency or bravery), is a safe way. For he that tumeth 

1 "Mr. Bettenham used to say: That riches were like muck; when 
it lay upon an heap, it gave but a stench and ill odour; but when it 
was spread upon the ground, then it was cause of much fruit." 
Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 2B2 (107). 

2 Ingrosaing. The action of buying (any article) in large quan- 
tities with a view of obtaining a monopoly. 

'Homer. Iliad. 1.396-406. 


the humours back, and maketh the wound bleed in- 
wards, endangereth malign ulcers and pernicious 

The part of Epimetheus^ mought well become 
Prometheus, in the case of discontentments; for 
there is not a better provision against them. Epi- 
metheus, when griefs and evils flew abroad, at last 
shut the lid, and kept hope in the bottom of the 
vessel. Certainly, the politic and artificial nourish- 
ing and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men 
from hopes to hopes, is one of the best antidotes 
against the poison of discontentments. And it is a 
certain sign of a wise government and proceeding, 
when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, when it 
cannot by satisfaction; and when it can handle 
things in such manner, as no evil shall appear 
so peremptory but that it hath some outlet of hope : 
which is the less hard to do, because both particular 
persons and factions are apt enough to flatter them- 
selves, or at least to brave ^ that they believe not. 

Also the foresight and prevention, that there be 
no likely or fit head whereunto discontented persons 
may resort, and under whom they may join, is a 
known, but an excellent point of caution. I under- 
stand a fit head to be one that hath greatness and 
reputation; that hath confidence with the discon- 
tented party, and upon whom they turn their eyes ; 

^ ImposthuTnation. Abscess. 

' Epimetheus. 'Afterthought,' brother of Prometheus, 'Pore- 
thought,' and husband of Pandora. According to the Greek myth, 
Prometheus had confined the 'griefs and evils' of men in a box, 
which Pandora opened. Bead Bacon's telling of the story of Pan- 
dora's box in the Wisdom of the Ancients, Prometheus ; or the State 
of Man. Also Longfellow's, The Masque of Pandora, 

' Brave. To boast of. 


and that is thought discontented in his own partic- 
ular : which kind of persons are either to be won 
and reconciled to- the state, and that in a fast and 
true manner ; or to be fronted with some other of 
the same party, that may oppose them, and so divide 
the reputation. Generally, the dividing and break- 
ing of all factions and combinations that are adverse 
to the state, and setting them at distance,^ or at least 
distrust, amongst themselves, is not one of the worst 
remedies. For it is a desperate case, if those that ^ 
hold with the proeeediug of the state be full of dis- 
cord and faction, and those that are against it be 
entire and united!.' 

1 have noted that some witty and sharp speeches 
which have fallen from princes have given fire to 
seditions. CfesaLr did himself infinite hurt in that 
speech, Sylla nescivit literas, non potuit dictare :^ for 
it did utterly cut o& that hope which men had enter- 
tained, that he would al one time or other give over 
his dictatorship. Galba undid himself by that speech, 
legi a se militem, non emi;^ for it put the soldiers out 

^ Distance. Discord, dissension, enmity. The meaning is derived 
from fencing, 

"So is lie mine; and in such bloody distance. 
That every minute of his being thrusts 
Against my near'st of life." 

JShakspere. Macbeth. Hi. 1. 

2 Sulla knew not letters, he could not dictate. C. Suetoni Tran- 
quilli De XII Caesaribus Liber I. Divus Julius Caesar. Caput 
77, where the pun is "Sullam nescisse litteras, qui dictaturam de- 
posuerit." "Caesar would say of Sylla, for that he did resign his dic- 
tatorship; That he was ignorant of letters, he could not dictate." 
Bacon. Xpophthegmes New and Old. 135 (116). The pun is also 
quoted in the Advancement of Learning, I. vii. 29, where Bacon is 
speaking of Caesar's "perfection in learning." 

' He levied his soldiers, he did not buy them. Tacitus. Histo- 
riarum Liber I. 5. 


of hope of the donative. Problisi likewise, by that 
speech, si vixero, non opus erit amplius Romano imperio 
militibus; - a speech of great despair for the soldiers. 
And many the like. Surely princes had need, in 
tender matters and ticklish times, to beware what 
they say ; especially in these short speeches, which 
fly abroad like darts, and are thought to be shot out 
of their secret intentions. For as for large dis- 
courses, they are flat things, and not so much noted. 
Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be with- 
out some great person, one or rather more, of 
military valour, near unto them, for the repressing 
of seditions in their beginnings. For without that, 
there useth to be more trepidation in court upon 
the first breaking out of troubles than were fit. 
And the state runneth the danger of that which 
Tacitus saith; Atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut 
pessimum f acinus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes 
paterentur? But let such military persons be as- 
sured,* and well reputed of, rather than factious 
and popular; holding also good correspondence 
with the other great men in the state ; or else the 
remedy is worse than the disease. 

^ Marcus Aurelius Probus, Boman Emperor, 276 — 282 A.D. 

^If I live, the Boman Empire will need no more soldiers. Fla- 
vins Vopiscus. Probus. 20, in Augustae Bistoriae Scriptores. 

' And that was the state of their minds that a few dared the 
worst villainy, more willed it, all tolerated it. Taeitwa. Hiato- 
riarum Liber I, 28. 

* Assured, Trustworthy, 


XVI. Of Atheism. 

1 HAD rather believe all the fables in the Legend^ 
and the Talmud,^ and the Alcoran,^ than that this 
universal frame is without a mind. And therefore 
God never wrought miracle to convince* atheism 
because his ordinary works convince it. It is true, 
that a httle philosophy inclineth man's mind to 
atheism ; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's 
minds about to religion. For while the mind of man 
looketh upon second causes scattered, it may some- 
times rest in them, and go no further ; but when it 
beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and hhked 
together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity. 
Nay, even that school which is most accused of 
atheism doth most demonstrate religion ; that is, the 
school of Leueippus^ and Democritus and Epicurus.^ 
For it is a thousand times more credible, that four 

^The Legend. A book of miraculous stories, so called because 
it was appointed to be read in churclies on certain days. 

2 The Talmud. The book of Jewish traditional or oral laws 
and regulations of life explanatory of the written law of the Penta- 
teuch, together with the commentaries of the rabbins thereon. The 
two recensions of the Talmud, the Palestinian and the Babylonian, 
were composed between the ends of the 2d and 6th centuries A.D. 

^Alcoran (Arabic, the book), or Koran, the Mohammedan book 
of faith and worship. 

* Convince. To disprove; to refute. "There was never miracle 
wrought by God to convert an atheist, because the light of nature 
might have led him to confess a God." Advancement of Learning, 
II. vi. 1. 

^ Leucippus, Greek philosopher, flourished about 500 B.O. He 
founded the atomic school of philosophy. 

'Epicurus, Greek philosopher, 342-270 B.C. Epicurus taught 
that pleasure is the only possible end of rational action, and that the 
ultimate pleasure is freedom. With Democritus, he accepted and 
helped to develop the theory of atoms of Leucippus. 


mutable elements/ and one immutable fifth essence, 
duly and eternally placed, need no God, than that 
an army of infinite smaU portions or seeds unplaced, 
should have produced this order and beauty without 
a divine marshal. The scripture saith, The fool hath 
said in his heart, there is no God;^ it is not said. The 
fool hath thought in his heart; so as* he rather saith 
it by rote to himself, as that* he would have, than 
that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded 
of it.^ For none deny there is a God, but those for 
whom it maketh* that there were no God. It ap- 
peareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in 
the lip than in the heart of man, than by this ; that 
atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, 
as if they fainted in it within themselves, and woul^ 
be glad to be strengthened by the consent '' of others. 
Nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get 
disciples, as it f areth with other sects. And, which 

^Four mutable elements. The four elements are earth, air, fire, 
and water, of which all things were thought to be made. Aristotle 
suggested a 'fifth being,' or 'form of existence,' for that which 
makes a thing "what it is, its 'soiil* The Latin language translated 
'fifth being' as quinta essentia, 'fifth essence' ; that is, 'quintes- 
sence,' in English. 

"The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 
And this ethereal quintessence of heav'n 
Flew upward, spirited with various forms, 
That roU'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars 

Milton, Paradise Lost. III. 715—719, 

^ This is the first sentence of the first verse of both the Fourteenth 
and the Fifty-third Psalms. 

' As. That. 

* That means what, that which. 

^ "For myself, I wo.uld not give up the poetry of religion for all 
the wisest results that philosophy will ever arrive at." Thomas 
Moore to Lord Byron, Feb. 9, 1822. Letters and, Journals of Lord 
Byron, with Notices of his Life. Thomas Moore. 

^ Maheth. Make means profit. 

^ Consent, Agreement or unity of opinion; unanimity, consensus. 

or ATHEISM 73 

is most of all/ you shall have of them that will 
suffer for atheism, and not recant ; whereas if they 
did truly think that there were no such thing as 
God, why should they trouble themselves ? Epicurus 
is charged that he did but dissemble for his credit's 
sake, when he affirmed there were blessed natures, 
but such as enjoyed themselves without having 
respect to the government of the world. "Wherein 
they say he did temporize; though in secret he 
thought there was no God. But certainly he is 
traduced ; for his words are noble and divine : Non 
Deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi opiniones Diis 
appUcare profanum.^ Plato could have said no 
more. And although he had the confidence' to deny 
the administration, he had not the power to deny 
the nature. The Indians of the west have names for 
their particular gods, though they have no name for 
God : as if the heathens should have had the names 
Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, &c., but not the word Deus ; 
which shews that even those barbarous people have 
the notion, though they have not the latitude and 
extent of it. So that against atheists the very sav- 
ages take part with the very subtlest philosophers. 
The contemplative atheist is rare: a Diagoras,* 

* The Latin text shows that the phrase rtiost of all means raost 
extraordinary of all. 

^ It is not profane to deny the gods of the common people ; but 
it is profane to apply the opinions of the common people to the gods. 
Diogenes Laertius. X. 123. 

" Confidence. Assurance, boldness, fearlessness, arising from reli- 
ance (on one's self, on circumstances, on divine support, etc.). 

"Alas, my lord, 
Your wisdom is consumed in confidence." 

Shakspere. Julius Caesar, ii. 2. 

* Diagoras of Melos, surnamed 'the Atheist,' lived in the last half 
of the Sth century, B.C. 


a Bion,i a Lucian^ perhaps, and some others; 
and yet they seem to be more than they are; 
for that all that impugn a received religion or 
superstition are by the adverse part branded with 
the name of atheists. But the great atheists indeed 
are hypocrites ; which are ever handling holy things, 
but without feeling ; so as they must needs be cau- 
terized in the end. The causes of atheism are; 
divisions in religion, if they be many ; for any one 
main division addeth zeal to both sides ; but many 
divisions introduce atheism. Another is, scandal 
of priests ; when it is come to that which St. Ber- 
nard saith,^ Non estjamdicere,utpopulus sic sacerdos ; 
quia nee sic populus ut sacerdos.* A third is, custom 
of profane scoffing in holy matters ; which doth by 
little and little deface the reverence of religion. And 
lastly, learned times, specially with peace and pros- 
perity ; for troubles and adversities do more bow 
men's minds to religion. They that deny a G-od de- 
stroy man's nobility ; for certainly man is of kin to 
the beasts by his body ; and, if he be not of kin to 

* Bion, a witty philosopher of the Cyrenaic school, born at 
Borysthenes; he lived for some time at the court of Antigonus 
(Oonatas), who was king of Macedon from 277 to 239 B.C. 

^Lucian 120(.f)-200( «) A.D., Greek satirist and wit. Among 
other works, he wrote Dialogues of the Gods, Dialogues of the Dead, 
and the Veracious History, a mock narrative of travel, which is the 
original of such books as Gulliver's Travels. Lucian's Timon, a 
very amusing and witty dialogue, was, probably through the 
Timone of Matteo Maria Boiardo, one of the sources of Shakspere's 
Timon of Athens. 

' St. Bernard, 1091—1153, Abbot of Clairvaux, one of the most 
eloquent and influential men in Europe of his time. 

* It cannot now be said, Like priest, like people, because the 
people are not like the priests, i.e., they are better. Ad Pastores 
in Synodo Congregatoa aermo. 8. The sermon of St. Bernard 
here quoted, entitled, Cujuscunque sit, nee inelegans est, nee lectu 
indignua, will be found in Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologiae Curaus 
Computus. S, Bernardua. Volume 3. Columns 1091-1092. 



God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. 
It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the raising of 
human nature ; for take an example of a dog, and 
mark what a generosity and courage he will put on 
when he finds himseK maintained by a man ; who 
to him is instead of a God, or melior natura ; ^ which 
courage is manifestly such as that creature, without 
that confidence of a better nature than his own, 
could never attain. So man, when he resteth and 
assureth himself upon divine protection and favour, 
gathereth a force and faith which human nature in 
itself could not obtain. Therefore, as atheism is in 
all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth 
human nature of the means to exalt itself above 
human frailty.^ As it is in particular persons, so 
it is in nations. Never was there such a state for 
magnanimity as Rome. Of this state hear what 
Cicero^ saith : Quam volutnus licet patres conscripti, 
nos amemus, tamen nee numero Hispanos, nee robore 
Gallos, nee calliditate Poenos, nee artibus Orcecos, nee 
denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et terrce domestico nati- 
voque sensu Italos ipsos et Latinos; sed pietate ac reli- 
gione, atque hac una sapientia, quod Deorum immorta- 
lium numine omnia regi gubernarique perspeximus, 
omnes gentes nationesque superavimtis.^ 

1 Better, or higher, nature. P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon 
Liber I. Fabula I. 21. 

2 "If it is a dream ["the prospect of a future state"], let me 
enjoy it, Bince it makes me the happier and hetter man." Joseph 
Addison. The Spectator. No. 186. 

' Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106-43 B.C., Roman orator, philosopher, 
and statesman. 

* We may have as good an opinion of ourselves as we will, con- 
script fathers, yet we do not surpass the Spaniards in number, nor 
the Gauls in strength, nor the Carthaginians in cunning, nor the 
Greeks in arts, nor finally the Italians and Latins themselves in 


XVII. Op Superstition.^ 

It were better to have no opinion of God at all, 
than such an opinion as is unworthy of him. For 
the one is unbelief, the other is contumely: and 
certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. 
Plutarch^ saith well to that purpose : Surely (saith 
he) I had rather a great deal men should say there 
was no such man at all as Plutarch^ than that they 
should say that there was one Plutarch that would eat 
his children as soon as they were homj ^ as the poets 
speak of Saturn.* And as the contumely is greater 
towards God, so the danger is greater towards men. 
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to 
natural piety,^ to laws, to reputation, all which may 

the homely and native intelligence of this nation and land; but we 
do surpass all nations and peoples in piety and in religion, and in 
this one wisdom of recognizing that all things are ruled and gov- 
erned by the power of the immortal gods. M. Tullii Ciceronis 
Oratio De Saruspicum Mesponso in P. Clodium in Senatu Hdbita. 
Caput ix. 19. 

^ This Essay is omitted in the Italian translation. S. 

^ Plutarch, born about 46 A.D., Greek historian, author of forty- 
six 'Parallel Lives' of Greeks and Romans. An excellent transla- 
tion, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans was made from 
the French of Amyot, by Thomas North, in Bacon's youth, 1579. 
North's Plutarch was Shakspere's store-house of classical know- 

* The quotation is from 'Plutarch's Morals,' Of Superstition or 
Indiscreet Devotion. 10. Plutarch's Miscellanies and Essays. Vol.1. 
Edited by W. W. Goodwin. With an Introduction by Ralph Waldo 

* Saturn has been identified with tlie Greek Cronos. He was 
the youngest of the Titans, children of Sky (Uranus) and Earth 
(Gaea). Sky and Earth foretold to Cronos that he would be de- 
posed by one of his own children, so he swallowed them one after 
another as soon as they were born. Cronos was confounded with 
Chronos, Time, and the myth then comes to explain the tendency 
of time to destroy whatever it has brought into existence. 

° yatural piety. Morality. 


be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion 
were not ; but superstition dismounts all these, and 
erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.^ 
Therefore atheism did never perturb^ states; for it 
makes men wary of themselves, as looking no fur- 
ther : and we see the times inclined to atheism (as 
the time of Augustus CsBsar) were civil ^ times. But 
superstition hath been the confusion of many states, 
and bringeth in a new primuni mobile, that ravisheth 
all the spheres of government. The master of super- 
stition is the people ; and in all superstition wise 
men follow fools ; and arguments are fitted to prac- 
tice, in a reversed order. It was gravely said by 
some of the prelates in the council of Trent,* where 
the doctrine of the schoolmen bare great sway, that 
the schoolmen were Mice astronomers, which did fdgn 
eccentrics^ and epicycles,^ and such engines'' of orbs, to 

^ "Sickness and sorrows come and go, but a superstitious soule 
hath no rest." Robert Burton. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Parti- 
tion 3. Section 4. Member 1. Subsection 3. 

^Perturb. To disturb greatly; to unsettle; to confuse. 

"What folk ben ye that at myn horn comynge 
Pertourben so my feste with cryinge?" 

Chaucer. The Enightes Tale. II. 47-4S. 

^ CivU. Tranquil, well-governed, orderly. 

"the round-uproared world 
Should have shook lions into civil streets, 
And citizens to their dens." 

ShaJcspere. Antony and Cleopatra, v. 1. 

* The Council of Trent, summoned to meet at Trent in the 
Austrian Tyrol, March 15, 1545, was the parting of the ways be- 
tween Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. 

^ Eccentric. A circle not having the same centre as another. 
" Epicycle. A little circle whose centre is on the circumference of 
a greater circle. 

^Engine. Artifice, contrivance, device. 

"Nor did he scape 
By all his engines, but was headlong sent 
With his industrious crew to build in hell." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. I. 749 — 751. 


save the phcenomena; though they Mew there were no 
such things; ^ and in like manner, that tlie schoolmen 
had framed a number of subtle and intricate axioms 
and theorems, to save the practice of the church. 
The causes of superstition are, pleasing and sensual 
rites and ceremonies ; excess of outward and Phar- 
isaical holiness ; over-great reverence of traditions, 
which cannot but load the church ; the stratagems of 
prelates for their own ambition and lucre; the 
favouring too much of good intentions, which open- 
eth the gate to conceits and novelties ; the taking an 
aim at divine matters by human, which cannot but 
breed mixture of imaginations : and, lastly, barbar- 
ous times, especially joined with calamities and 
disasters. Superstition, without a veil, is a deformed 
thing ; for as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so 
like a man, so the similitude of superstition to 
religion makes it the more deformed. And as whole- 
some meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms 
and orders corrupt into a number of petty observ- 
ances. There is a superstition in avoiding super- 
stition, when men think to do best if they go fur- 
thest from the superstition formerly received; 
therefore care would be had that (as it fareth in ill 
purgings) the good be not taken away with the bad ; 
which commonly is done when the people is the re- 

' "Some pleasant wits said, that if the Astrologers, not knowing 
the true causes of the celestiall motions, to salue the appearances, 
have invented Bccentriques and Epicicies, it was no wonder if the 
Councel, desiring to salue the appearances of the supercelestiall 
motions, did fall into excentricitie of opinions." The Siatorie of 
the Councel of Trent. Nathanael Brent. II. 227. Translated from 
Fra Paolo Sarpi's Historia del ConcUio Triientino. 


XVIII. Of Travel. 

Travel, in tlie younger sort, is a part of educa- 
tion ; in the elder, a part of experience. He that trav- 
elleth into a country before he hath some entrance 
into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. 
That young men travel under some tutor, or grave 
servant, I allow ^ well ; so that he be such a one that 
hath the language, and hath been ia the country be- 
fore ; whereby he maybe able to tell them what things 
are worthy to be seen in the country where they go ; 
what acquaintances they are to seek ; what exercises 
or discipline the place yieldeth. For else young men 
shall go hooded, and look abroad little. It is a 
strange thing, that in sea voyages, where there is 
nothing to be seen but sky and sea, men should make 
diaries ; but in land-travel, wherein so much is to be ob- 
served, for the most part they omit it ; as if chance were 
fitter to be registered than observation. Let diaries 
therefore be brought in use. The things to be seen and 
observed are, the courts of princes, specially when they 
give audience to ambassadors ; the courts of justice, 
while they sit and hear causes ; and so of consistories 
ecclesiastic ; the churches and monasteries, with the 
monuments which are therein extant ; the walls and 
fortifications of cities and towns, and so the havens 
and harbours ; antiquities and ruins ; libraries ; col- 
leges, disputations, and lectures, where any are; 

'■Allow. Approve. "The Lord alloweth the righteous." Psalm 
sni. 6. fhe Psalter. 


shipping and navies ; houses and gardens of state 
and pleasure, near great cities ; armories ; arsenals ; 
magaziaes; exchanges; burses;^ warehouses; exer- 
cises of horsemanship, fencing, training of soldiers 
and the like ; comedies, such whereunto the better 
sort of persons do resort ; treasuries of jewels and 
robes ; cabinets and rarities ; and, to conclude, what- 
soever is memorable in the places where they go. 
After all which the tutors or servants ought to make 
dihgent inquiry. ' As for triumphs, masks, feasts, 
weddings, funerals, capital executions, and such 
shows, men need not to be put in mind of them ; yet 
are they not to be neglected. If you wiU have a 
young man to put his travel into a little room, and 
in short time to gather much, this you must do. 
First as was said, he must have some entrance into 
the language before he goeth. Then he must have 
such a servant or tutor as knoweth the country, as 
was likewise said. Let him carry with him also 
some card or book describing the country where he 
travelleth ; which will be a good key to his inquiry. 
Let him keep also a diary. Let him not stay long 
in one city or town ; more or less as the place de- 
serveth, but not long ; nay, when he stayeth in one 
city or town, let him change his lodging from one 
end and part of the town to another; which is a 
great adamant^ of acquaintance. Let him sequester 
himself from the company of his countrymen, and 
diet in such places where there is good company of 

^ Burse. The French bourse, a purse. The sign of a purse was 
once set over the shop of a banker, hence bourse comes to mean 

^ Adamant. Loadstone. 


the nation where he travelleth. Let him upon his 
removes from one place to another, procure recom- 
mendation to some person of quality residing in the 
place whither he removeth ; that he may use his 
favour in those things he desireth to see or know. 
Thus he may abridge his travel with much profit. 
As for the acquaintance which is to be sought in 
travel ; that which is most of aU profitable, is ac- 
quaintance with the secretaries and employed men 
of ambassadors : for so in travelling in one country 
he shall suck the experience of many. Let him also 
see and visit eminent persons in all kinds, which are 
of great name abroad ; that he may be able to teU 
how the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels, 
they are with care and discretion to be avoided. 
They are commonly for mistresses, healths,^ place, 
and words. And let a man beware how he keepeth 
company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; 
for they will engage him into^ their own quarrels. 
When a traveller returneth home, let him not leave 
the countries where he hath travelled altogether be- 
hind him ; but maintain a correspondence by letters 
with those of his acquaintance which are of most 
worth. And let his travel appear rather in his dis- 
course than in his apparel ^ or gesture ; and in his 
discourse let him be rather advised * in his answers, 
than forward to teU stories ; and let it appear that 

^Healths. Refusal to drink healths. 
^ Into. In. 

* "Farewell, Monsieur Traveller : look, you lisp, and wear strange 
suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out of love 
with your nativity, and ahnost chide God for making you that counte- 
nance you are; or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola." 
Shakspere. As Tou Like It. iv. 1. 

* Advised. Circumspect, cautious. 


he doth not change his country manners for those 
of foreign parts ; but only prick in some flowers of 
that he hath learned abroad into the customs of his 
own country. 

XIX. Of Empiee. 

It is a miserable state of mind to have few things 
to desire, and many things to fear ; and yet that 
commonly is the ease of kings ; who, being at the 
highest, want matter of desire, which makes their 
minds more languishing ; and have many represen- 
tations of perils and shadows, which makes their 
minds the less clear. And this is one reason also of 
that effect which the Scripture speaketh of, That the 
Icing's heart is inscrutable} For multitude of jealous- 
ies, and lack of some predominent desire that should 
marshal and put in order all the rest, maketh any 
man's heart hard to find or sound. Hence it comes 
likewise, that princes many times make themselves 
desires, and set their hearts upon toys ; sometimes 
upon a building; sometimes upon erecting of an 
order ; sometimes upon the advancing of a person ; 
sometimes upon obtaining excellency in some art 
or feat of the hand; as Nero^ for playing on the 

^ "The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart 
of kings is unsearchable." Proverbs xxv, 3. 

2 Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, later Nero Claudius Caesar Dru- 
sus Germanicns, commonly called Nero, 37—68 A.D., Roman em- 
peror, 54—68 A.D, 


harp, Domitiani for certainty of the hand with the 
arrow, Commodus^ for playing at fence, Caracalla^ 
for driving chariots, and the like. This seemeth 
incredible unto those that know not the principle 
that the mind of man is more cheered and refreshed 
by profiting in small things, than by standing at a stay 
in great. "We see also that kings that have been fortu- 
nate conquerors in their first years, it being not pos- 
sible for them to go forward infinitely, but that they 
must have some check or arrest in their fortunes, 
turn in their latter years to be superstitious and 
melancholy; as did Alexander the Great;* Dio- 
clesian ; ^ and in our memory, Charles the Fifth ; ^ 
and others: for he that-is used to go forward, and 
findeth a stop, f alleth out of his own favour, and is 
not the thing he was. 

To speak now of the true temper of empire ; it is 
a thing rare and hard to keep ; for both temper'' 
and distemper^ consist of contraries. But it is one 
thing to mingle contraries, another to interchange 
them. The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian is 

^ Titns Flavins Domitiantis Augustus, 51—96 A.D., Boman em- 
peror, 81-96 A.D, 

2 Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus (also Marcus Antoninus), 
161-192 A.D., Roman emperor, 180-192 A.D. 

^ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, originally Bassianus, nicknamed 
Oaracalla or Caracallus, 188 — 217 A.D., Koman emperor, 211- 
217 A.D. 

* Alexander III., surnamed 'the Great,' 356-323 B.C., King of 
Macedon, 336-323 B.C. 

Caius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, surnamed Jovius, 245 - 
313 A.D., Boman emperor, 284-305 A.D. 

'Charles V., 1500-1558, Emperor of the Holy Boman Empire, 

''Temper. Balance of qualities. 

'Distemper. Disturbed condition. Bacon uses temper and dis- 
temper in their old physiological senses. Temper, or temperament, 
from temperare, 'to mix,' was one's 'mixture'; distemper was a 
'variation from the proper mixture.' 


full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him, 
what was Nereis overthrow? He answered, Nero 
could touch and tune the harp well; hut in government 
sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, sometimes 
to let them down too low.^ And certain it is that 
nothing destroyeth authority so much as the un- 
equal and untimely interchange of power pressed 
too far, and relaxed too much. 

This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter 
times in princes' affairs is rather fine deliveries and 
shiftings of dangers and mischiefs when they are 
near, than solid and grounded courses to keep them 
aloof. But this is but to try masteries with fortune. 
And let men beware how they neglect and suffer 
matter of trouble to be prepared; for no man 
can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may come. 
The difficulties in princes' business are many and 
great ; but the greatest difficulty is often in their 
own mind. For it is common with princes (saith 
Tacitus) to will contradictories, Sunt plerumque 
regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se contrarice? 
For it is the solecism^ of power, to think to 

1 "Vespasian asked of Apollonius, What was the cause of Nero's 
ruin? who answered; Nero could tune the harp well; but in gov- 
ernment he did always wind up the strings too high, or let them 
down too low." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 51 (136). 
This anecdote is related by Philostratus, the Greek sophist, in his 
account of the )ife, travels, and prodigies of Apollonius of Tyana, 
V. 28. 

' ^ The desires of kings are for the most part vehement and incon- 
sistent one with another. Elsewhere Bacon correctly quotes this 
thought from Sallust (Caius Sallustius Crispus. Bellum Jugurthi- 
num. 113). "Sallust noteth that it is usual with Kings to desire 
contradictories : Sed plerumque regiae voluntates, ut vehementes sunt, 
sic mobiles, saepegue ipsae sibi adversae." Advancement of Lea/m- 
ing, II. xxii. B. 

' Solecism. Absurdity, 


command the end, and yet not to endure the 



Kings have to deal with their neighbours, their 
wives, their children, their prelates or clergy, their 
nobles, their second-nobles or gentlemen, their 
merchants, their commons, and their men of war ; 
and from aU these arise dangers, if care and cir- 
cumspection be not used. 

First for their neighbours ; there can no general 
rule be given (the occasions are so variable,) save 
one, which ever holdeth ; which is, that princes do 
keep due sentinel, that none of their neighbours do 
overgrow so (by increase of territory, by embracing 
of trade, by approaches, or the like), as^ they be- 
come more able to annoy them than they were. 
And this is generally the work of standing coun- 
sels to foresee and to hinder it. During that trium- 
virate of kings. King Henry the Eighth^ of Eng- 
land, Francis the First,* King of France, and 
Charles the Fifth Emperor, there was such a watch 
kept, that none of the three could win a palm* of 
ground, but the other two would straightways^ bal- 
ance it, either by confederation, or, if need were, by 
a war ; and wotdd not in any wise take up peace at 
interest. And the like was done by that league 
(which Guicciardine'' saith was the security of Italy) 

^ Mean. Means. 

2 A.a. That. 

s Henry VIII., 1491-1547, King of England from 1509 to 1547. 

* Francis I., 1494-1547, King of France from 1515 to 1547. 

" Palm. Hand's breadth. 

® Straightways, straightway. Immediately. "And they straight- 
way left their nets and followed him.'* Matthew iv. 20. 

^Francesco Guicciardini, 1482—1540, Italian historian and 
statesman; he wrote L'istoria d'ltalia, 1561—1564. 


made between Ferdinando,! King of Naples, Loren- 
zius Medices,^ and Lndovicus Sforza,^ potentates, 
tlie one of Florence, the other of Milan. Neither 
is the opinion of some of the schoolmen to be re- 
ceived, that a war cannot justly he made hut upon a pre- 
cedent^ injury or provocation. For there is no ques- 
tion but a just fear of an imminent danger, though 
there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of a war. 
For their wives; there are cruel examples of 
them. Livia is infamed^ for the poisoning of her 
husband; Roxalana,^ Solyman's wife, was the de- 
struction of that renowned prince Sultan Mustapha,'' 
and otherwise troubled his house and succession; 
Edward the Second* of England his* queen had the 
principal hand in the deposing and murther of her 
husband. This kind of danger is then to be feared 

'■ Ferdinand II., 1469-1496, King of Naples, 

2 Lorenzo dei Medici, 1449—1492, 'the Magnificent,' Florentine 
statesman and patron of letters. 

' Lodovico Sforza, 'II Moro,' 1451—1508, Duke of Bari, and 
de facto, of Milan. 

* Precedent. Preceding. 

^ Infamed. Infamous. This Livia was sister to Gennanicus and 
wife of Drusus Caesar, son of Tiberius. Tacitus says that Sejanus 
was responsible for the death of Drusus, and not Livia. P. Gornelii 
Taciti Anrmlvwrn Liber IV. 3. 

* The name of the Sultana Roxalana was really Khourrem, which 
means 'the joyous one.' She was a Russian and was frequently 
spoken of as 'La Kossa,' that is, 'the Russian woman.' La 
liossa was afterwards euphonized into Roxalana. In 1553, 
through the machinations of the Sultana Khourrem and her son- 
in-law, the Grand Vizier, Roostem Pacha, Prince Mustapha was 
murdered, in order to make way for the succession of Khourrem's 
son. Prince Selim. 

^ Mustapha, eldest son of Solyman I. 

^ Edward II., 1284-1327, King of England from 1307 to 1327. 
His queen was Isabella of Prance. 

» "Edward the Second of England his queen" ; notice the peculiar 
use of the pronoun to take the place of the ending of the genitive 
case. It is almost always used with names of persons, particularly 
with those ending with the sound of s. The locution was common 
with the Elizabethans, but went out of use in the following century. 


cMefly, when the wives have plots for the raising of 
their own children ; or else that they be advou- 

For their children; the tragedies likewise of 
dangers from them have been many. And gener- 
ally, the entering of fathers into suspicion of their 
children hath been ever unfortunate. The destruc- 
tion of Mustapha (that we named before) was so 
fatal to Solyman's line, as the succession of the 
Turks from Solyman^ until this day is suspected to 
be untrue, and of strange blood ; for that Selymus 
the Second^ was thought to be suppositious. The 
destruction of Crispus,* a young prince of rare to- 
wardness,^ by Constantinus the Great,^ his father, 
was in like manner fatal to his house; for both 
Constantinus'' and Constance,^ his sons, died vio- 
lent deaths; and Constantius,^ his other son, did 
little better ; who died indeed of sickness, but after 
that Julianus^" had taken arms against him. The 

^ Advoutreas. Obsolete fonn of adulteress. 

^ Solyman I., surnamed 'the Magnificent,' 1494—1566, Sultan of 
the Ottoman Turks, 1520-1566. 

3 Selymus II., son of Solyman the Great, Sultan of the Ottoman 
Turks, 1566-1574. He was called 'Selim the Sot.' 

^Flavins Julius Crispus, died 326 A.D., eldest son of Constantino 
the Great and his first wife, Minervina. He was put to death by 
Constantine at the instigation of his stepmother, Pausta. 

^ Towardness. Readiness to do or learn; docility. 

^ Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, surnamed 'the Great,' 
272-337 A.D., Eoman emperor, 312-337 A.D. 

' Flavius Claudius Constantinus, 312-340 A.D., second son of 
Constantine the Great, eldest son by his second wife, Fausta, Roman 

•Flavius Julius Constans, 320(»)-350, youngest of the three 
sons of Constantine the Great and his second wife, Fausta, Roman 

"Flavins Julius Constantius II., 317-361 A.D., third son of 
Constantine the Great (second son by his second wife, Fausta), 
Roman emperor. 

"Flavius Claudius Julianus, 331(?)-363 A.D., Julian the Apos- 
tate, Roman emperor, 361—363 A.D, 


destruction of Demetrius, son to Philip the Second ^ 
of Macedon, turned upon the father, who died of 
repentance. And many like examples there are; 
but few or none where the fathers had good by 
such distrust ; except it were where the sons were up 
in open arms against them ; as was Selymus the 
First^ against Bajazet; and the three sons of 
Henry the Second,^ King of England, 

For their prelates; when they are proud and 
great, there is also danger from them ; as it was in 
the times of Anselmus* and Thomas Becket,® Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury; who with their crosiers 
did almost try it with the king's sword ; and yet 
they had to deal with stout and haughty kings ; 
Wilham Rufns,* Henry the First,^ and Henrj'^ the 
Second. The danger is not from that state, but 
where it hath a dependence of foreign authority ; 
or where the churchmen come in and are elected, 
not by the collation* of the king, or particular pa- 
trons, but by the people. 

1 Philip II., 382-336 B.C., King of Macedon and father of Alex- 
ander the Great. Livy says that Philip "mandata dedisse dicitur de 
fiUo Qccidendo." T. Livii Patavini HistoriaruTn Ab Urhe Condita 
Liber XL. 24. 

^Selymus I., 1465-1520, son of Bajazet II., Sultan of the Otto- 
man Turks from 1481 until he was dethroned and succeeded by his 
son Selim in 1512. 

2 Henry II., 1133-1189, first Plantagenet King of England, 

* St. Anselm, 1033—1109, Archbishop of Canterbury, and founder 
of scholastic theology. 

"Thomas, known as Thomas h. Becket, 1118( !)-1170, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. 

'William Rufus, 1056-1100, second son of William the Con- 
queror, King of England, 1087-1100. 

^ Henry I., 1068—1135, Beauclcrc, that is, 'fine scholar,' third 
son of William the Conqueror, King of England, 1100—1135. 

* CoUation. The bestowal of a benefice or other prefermertt upon 
a clergyman. 


For their nobles ; to keep them at a distance, it is 
not amiss ; but to depress them, may make a king 
more absolute, but less safe ; and less able to per- 
form any thing that he desires. I have noted it in 
my History of King Henry the Seventh of England,^ 
who depressed his nobility ; whereupon it came to 
pass that his times were fuU of difiSculties and 
troubles; for the nobility, though they continued 
loyal unto him, yet did they not co-operate with him 
in his business. So that in effect he was fain^ to do 
all things himself. 

For their second-nobles ; there is not much danger 
from them, being a body dispersed. They may some- 
times discourse high, but that doth little hurt ; be- 
sides, they are a counterpoise to the higher nobility, 
that they grow not too potent ; and, lastly, being 
the most immediate in authority with the common 
people, they do best temper popular commotions. 

For their merchants; the j are vena porta ;^ and 
if they flourish not, a kingdom may have good 

^ Henry VII., 1457-1509, first Tudor King of England, 1485- 

^ Fain. Obliged or compelled. 

* Upon this phrase, which recurs two or three times in Bacon 
(see for instance the History of Henry VII., page 259 ; "being a king 
that loved wealth and treasure, he could not endure to have trade 
sick, nor any obstruction to continue in the gate-vein, which dis- 
perseth that blood,") 1 am indebted to Mr. Ellis for the following 
characteristic note. "The metaphor," he writes, "is historically 
curious ; for no one would have nsed it since, the discovery of the 
circulation of the blood and of the lacteals. But in Bacon's time it 
was supposed that the chyle was taken up by the veins which con- 
verge to the vena porta. The latter immediately divides into 
branches, and ultimately into four ramifications, which are dis- 
tributed throughout the substance of the liver, so that it has been 
compared to the trunk of a tree giving off roots at one extremity 
and branches at the other. Bacon's meaning therefore is, that com- 
merce concentrates the resources of a country in order to their redis- 
tribution. The heart, which receives blood from all parts of the 


limbs, but will have empty veins, and nourish little. 
Taxes and imposts upon them do seldom good to 
the king's revenue; for that he wins in the hun- 
dred ^ he leeseth^ in the shire ; the particular rates 
being increased, but the total bulk of trading rather 

For their commons ; there is little danger from 
them, except it be where they have great and potent 
heads ; or where you meddle with the point of reli- 
gion, or their customs, or means of life. 

For their men of war ; it is a dangerous state 
where they live and remain in a body, and are used 
to donatives ; ^ whereof we see examples in the jani- 
zaries,* and pretorian^ bands of Rome; but train- 
ings of men, and arming them in several places, and 
under several commanders, and without donatives, 
are things of defence, and no danger. 

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause 
good or evil times ; and which have much veneration, 
but no rest. AH precepts concerning kings are in 
effect comprehended in those two remembrances ; 
memento quod es homo; and memento quod es Deus, or 
vice Dei;^ the one bridleth their power, and the 
other their will. 

body and brings it into contact with the external air, and then 
redistributes it everywhere, would I think have taken the place of 
the vena porta, after Harvey's discovery had become known; espe- 
cially as the latter is a mere conduit, and not a source of motion." S. 

^ Hundred. A division of a county in England. 

^ Leeseth. Loseth. 

3 Donatives. Gifts, gratuities. 

* Janizary. One of a former body of Turkish infantry, consti- 
tuting the Sultanas guard and the main part of the standing army. 

" Pretorian, or praetorian bands. In imperial Borne, the body- 
guards of the Emperor. 

8 Remember that thou art man; remember that thou art God, or 
God's lieutenant. 


XX. Of CoxmsEL. 

The greatest trust between man and man is the 
trust of giving counsel. For in other confidences 
men commit the parts of life ; their lands, their 
goods, their child,^ their credit, some particular af- 
fair ; but to such as they make their counsellors, 
they commit the whole : by how much the more 
they are obliged to all faith and integrity. The 
wisest princes need not think it any diminution to 
their greatness, or derogation to their sufficiency, to 
rely upon counsel. God himself is not without, but 
hath made it one of the great names of his blessed 
Son; The Counsellor.^ Salomon hath pronounced 
that in counsel is stability.^ Things wiU have their 
first or second agitation: if they be not tossed 
upon the arguments of counsel, they will be tossed 
upon the waves of fortune ; and be f uU of incon- 
stancy, doing and undoing, like the reehng of a 
drunken man. Salomon's son found the force of 
counsel, as his father saw the necessity of it. For 
the beloved kingdom of God was first rent and 
broken by ill counsel ; upon which counsel there are 
set for our instruction the two marks whereby bad 
counsel is for eVer best discerned ; that it was young 

» So edd. 1612 and 1625. Ed. 1639 has children. S. 

- "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the 
government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor. The Mierlii-v God, The Everlasting Father, 
The Prince of Peace." Isaiah ix. 6. 

' "Every purpose is established by counsel." Proverbs xx. 18. 


counsel, for the persons ; and violent counsel, for 
the matter. 

The ancient times do set forth in figure both the 
incorporation and inseparable conjunction of coun- 
sel with kings, and the wise and politic use of coun- 
sel by kings : the one, in that they say Jupiter did 
marry Metis, which signifieth counsel ; whereby they 
intend that Sovereignty is married to Counsel : the 
other in that which followeth, which was thus: 
They say, after Jupiter was married to Metis, she 
conceived by him and was with child, but Jupiter 
suffered her not to stay tUl she brought forth, but 
eat her up ; whereby he became himself with child, 
and wasdehvered of Pallas armed, out of his head.^ 
Which monstrous fable containeth a secret of em- 
pire ; how kings are to make use of their counsel of 
state. That first they ought, to refer matters unto 
them, which is the first begetting or impregnation ; 
but when they are elaborate, moulded, and shaped 
in the womb of their counsel, and grow ripe and 
ready to be brought forth, that then they suffer 
not their counsel to go through with the resolution 
and direction, as if it depended on them ; but take 
the matter back into their own hands, and make it 
appear to the world that the decrees and final di- 
rections (which, because they come forth with pru- 
dence and power, are resembled to Pallas armed) 
proceeded from themselves ; and not only from their 
authority, but (the more to add reputation to them- 
selves) from their head and device. 

^ Bacon here relates the myth of the birth of Pallas Athene as 
told in Hesiod's Theogony, or 'Genealogy of the Gods.' It is Metis, 
or Counsel, of the Wisdom of the Ancients, 


Let us now speak of the inconveniences of coun- 
sel, and of the remedies. The inconveniences that 
have been noted in calling and using counsel, are 
three. First, the revealing of affairs, whereby they 
become less secret. Secondly, the weakening of the 
authority of princes, as if they were less of them- 
selves. Thirdly, the danger of being unfaithfully 
counselled, and more for the good of them that coun- 
sel than of him that is counselled. For which in- 
conveniences, the doctrine of Italy, the practice of 
France, in some kings' times, hath introduced cabinet 
counsels ; a remedy worse than the disease. 

As to secrecy ; princes are not bound to communi- 
cate aU matters with aU counsellors ; but may extract 
and select. Neither is ifc necessary that he that con- 
sulteth what he should do, should declare what he 
will do. But let princes beware that the unsecret- 
ingi of their affairs comes not from themselves. 
And as for cabinet counsels, it may be their motto, 
plenus rimarum sum :^ one futUe^ person that mak- 
eth it his glory to tell, will do more hurt than many 
that know it their duty to conceal. It is true there 
be some affairs which require extreme secrecy, which 
will hardly go beyond one or two persons besides the 
king : neither are those counsels unprosperous ; for, 
besides the secrecy, they commonly go on constantly 
in one spirit of direction, without distraction. But 

1 XJnaecreting. Disclosing. 

' I am fiill of chinks ; tliat is, I can keep nothing to myself. 
Terence. Eunuchus. I. ii. 25. 

^ Futile. Untrustworthy, of no weight. From the use of this 
word in the same connection in the Essay, Of Simulation and Dis- 
simulation, it would appear that 'talkative' was the ordinary mean- 
ing of 'futile' to Bacon. 


then it must be a prudent king, such as is able to 
grind with a hand-mill ; and those inward counsel- 
lors had need also be wise men, and especially- 
true and trusty to the king's ends ; as it was with 
King Henry the Seventh of England, who in his 
greatest business imparted himself to none, except 
it were to Morton ^ and Fox.^ 

For weakening of authority; the fable ^ showeth 
the remedy. Nay, the majesty of kings is rather 
exalted than diminished when they are in the chair 
of counsel ; neither was there ever prince bereaved 
of his dependences by his counsel ; except where 
there hath been either an over-greatness in one 
counsellor or an over-strict combination in divers ; * 
which are things soon found and holpen. 

For the last inconvenience, that men will counsel 
with an eye to themselves ; certainly, non inveniet 
fidem super terram^ is meant of the nature of times, 
and not of all particular persons. There be that are 
in nature faithful, and sincere, and plain, and direct ; 
not crafty and involved ; let princes, above all, draw 
to themselves such natures. Besides, counsellors 
are not commonly so united, but that one counsellor 
keepeth sentinel over another ; so that if any do 
counsel out of faction or private ends, it commonly 

^ John Morton, 1420 (?) -1500, bishop of Ely and archbishop 
of Canterbury. 

^Richard Foxe, or Fox, 1448( ?)-1528, successively bishop of 
Exeter, of Bath and Wells, of Durham, and of Winchester. 

' That is, the fable of Jupiter and Metis. S. 

* Divers. Various, several, sundry. "And Tamar .put ashes on 
her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, 
and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying," II. Samuel 
anii. 19. 

^ He will not find faith upon the earth. Luke xviii. 8. Notice 
this same verse quoted in the last sentence of the Essay, Of Truth, 


comes to tlie king's ear. But the best remedy is, if 
princes know their counsellors, as well as their coun- 
sellors know them : 

Piinoipis est virtus maxima nosse suos.^ 

And on the other side, counsellors should not be too 
speculative into their sovereign's person. The true 
composition of a counsellor is rather to be sMlf ul in 
their master's business, than ia his nature ; for then 
he is like to advise him, and not feed his humour. 
It is of singular use to princes if they take the opin- 
ions of their counsel both separately and together. 
For private opinion is more free ; but opinion before 
others is more reverent. In private, men are more 
bold in their own humours ; and in consort,^ men 
are more obnoxious to others' humours ; therefore 
it is good to take both ; and of the inferior sort 
rather in private, to preserve freedom ; of the greater 
rather in consort, to preserve respect. It is in vain 
for princes to take counsel concerning matters, r£ 
they take no counsel likewise concerning persons ; 
for all matters are as dead images ; and the life of 
the execution of affairs resteth in the good choice of 
persons. Neither is it enough to consult concern- 
ing persons seamdum genera,^ as in an idea, or math- 
ematical description, what the kind and character of 
the person should be ; for the greatest errors are 

^ The greatest virtue of a prince is to know his counsellors. 
Marci Yalerii Martialis Epigrammatu-m Liber Till. xv. Ad Domi- 
tianum. 8. 

2 Consort. Company, council, 

"Yes, madam, he was of that consort." 

Shakspere. King Lear. n. 1, 

' According to their kinds. 


committed, and the most judgment is shown in the 
choice of individuals. It was truly said, optimi con- 
siliarii mortui:^ books will speak plain when coun- 
sellors blanch. Therefore it is good to be conversant 
in them, specially the books of such as themselves 
have been actors upon the stage. 

The counsels at this day in most places are but 
familiar meetings, where matters are rather talked 
on than debated. And they run too swift to the 
order or act of counsel. It were better that in 
causes of weight, the matter were propounded one 
day and not spoken to till the next day ; in node 
consilium.^ So was it done in the Commission of 
Union between England and Scotland ; which was 
a grave and orderly assembly. I commend set days 
for petitions ; for both it gives the suitors more cer- 
tainty for their attendance, and it frees the meetings 
for matters of estate, that they may hoc agere? In 
choice of committees for ripening business for the 
counsel, it is better to choose indifferent persons, 
than to make an indifferency by putting in those 
that are strong on both sides. I commend also 
standing commissions ; as for trade, for treasure, for 
war, for suits, for some provinces ; for where there 
be divers particular counsels and but one counsel of 
estate (as it is in Spain), they are, in effect, no more 
than standing commissions: save that they have 
greater authority. Let such as are to infoim 

^ The best counsellors are the dead. "Alonso of Arragon was 
wont to say of himself, That he was a great necromancer, for that 
he used to aslc counsel of the dead: meaning books." Bacon. 
Apophthegmes New and Old. 105 (78). 

- In night is counsel, that is, the night brings counsel. 

' Do this one thing. Plutarch. Life of Coriolanus. 


counsels out of their particular professions, (as law- 
yers, seamen, mintmen,! and the like,) be first heard 
before committees ; and then, as occasion serves, be- 
fore the counsel. And let them not come in multi- 
tudes, or in a tribunitious ^ manner, for that is to 
clamour* counsels, not to inform them. A long 
table and a square table, or seats about the walls, 
seem things of form, but are things of substance ; 
for at a long table a few at the upper end, in effect, 
sway aJl the business ; but in the other form there 
is more use of the counsellors' opinions that sit 
lower.* A king, when he presides in counsel, let 
him beware how he opens his own inclination too 
much in that which he propoundeth ; for else coun- 
sellors will but take the wind of him, and instead of 
giving free counsel, sing him a song of placebo.^ 

^ Mintman. One skilled in coining or in coins ; a coiner. 
- Tribunitious. Characteristic of a tribune, or of his power or 
functions. We do not get the wisest counsel from tribunes or dema- 
gogues, as Bacon goes on to say. 

^ Clamour, To disturb with clamour ; to din. 

"Clamoured the livelong night." 

Shakspere. Macbeth, ii. 1. 

* "At Hawarden the G. O. M. [Grand Old Man, Gladstone] was 
somewhat hoarse, but cheerful and full of interesting talk on 
various topics. The geology of Norway and Psychical Research 
appeared to be the subjects that interested him most, but he told 
us one or two noteworthy things of a political bearing, — e.g. that the 
Cabinet now sit round a table, whereas they used to sit on chairs 
in a circle; he thinks the change a mistake, as leading to a less 
steady concentration of attention." Henry Sidgwick. A Memoir by 
A.. S. and E. M. S. Diary for September 30, 1885. p. 425. 

* I will please. In the Roman Catholic Church, the vesper hymn 
for the dead, beginning, Placebo Domino in regione vivorum- 


XXI. Of Delays. 

Fortune is like the market ; where many times, if 
you can stay a little, the price will fall. And again, 
it is sometimes like Sibylla's ^ offer ; which at first 
offereth the commodity at full, then consumeth part 
and part, and stiU holdeth up the price. For occasion 
(as it is in the common verse) turneth a bald noddle, 
after she hath presented her locJcs in front, and no hold 
taken; ^ or at least turneth the handle of the bottle 
first to be received, and after the belly,^ which is 
hard to clasp. There is surely no greater wisdom 
than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things. 
Dangers are no more light, if they once seem light ; 

1 Bacon alludes to the Sibyl of Cumae in Italy, the most celebrated 
of the wise women. According to story, she appeared before Tar- 
quin the Proud and offered him nine books for sale. He declined 
to buy them, whereupon she burned three and offered the remaining 
six at the original price. On being again refused, she destroyed 
three more and offered the remaining three at the price she had 
asked for the nine. Tarquin, unable to understand her importunity and 
her bargaining, bought the three books, which were found to con- 
tain directions as to the worship of the gods and the policy of the 
Romans. The Sibylline books were kept with great care at Rome, 
and were consulted from time to time under direction of the senate. 
They were burned in the fire which destroyed the temple of Jupiter, 
in 83 B.C. 

2 Spenser describes Occasion as an old woman lame of one leg. 
Her hair hangs down before her face, so that no one may know her, 
till she is past; at the back of her head she is bald, so that when 
once she is past, no one may grasp her from behind. She personifies 
the truth that an opportunity once missed never returns. Bead The 
Faery Queene. Booh II. Canto iv. Stanza 4. A Latin proverb, 
from a distich of Dionysius Cato, runs: 

"Fronte capillata, post est occasio calva. 
Time hath a Lock before, but *s bald behind." 

Catonis Distichorum de Moribus Liber II. S6. 
' Belly. That part of a thing, here a bottle, which swells out. 

or' DELAYS 99 

and more dangers have deceived men than forced 
them. Nay, it were better to meet some dangers 
half way, though they come nothing near, than to 
keep too long a watch upon their approaches ; for 
if a man watch too long, it is odds he will fall asleep. 
On the other side, to be deceived with too long 
shadows (as some have been when the moon was 
low and shone on their enemies' back), and so to 
shoot ofE before the time ; or to teach dangers to 
come on, by over early buckling^ towards them ; is 
another extreme. The ripeness or unripeness of 
the occasion (as we said) must ever be well weighed; 
and generally it is good to commit the beginnings 
of all great actions to Argos^ with his hundred 
eyes, and the ends to Briareus^ with his hundred 
hands ; first to watch, and then to speed. For the 
helmet of Pluto/ which maketh the politic man go 
invisible, is secrecy in the counsel and celerity in 

' Buckle. To gird one's self; to apply one's self resolutely to. 
"And huckling soone himselfe, gan fiercely fly 
Upon that carle, to save his friend from jeopardy." 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Booh TI. Canto viii. Stanza 12. 

- Argos, sumamed Panoptes (the all-seer), had one hundred 
eyes, some one of which was always awake. Hera (Juno) set him to 
guard lo, and Hermes killed him. After his death Hera trans- 
ferred his eyes to the tail of the peacock. Spenser alludes to 
"Great Junoes golden chaire," which was 

"DrawBe of faire pecocks, that excell in pride, 
And full of Argus eyes their tailes dispredden wide." 

The Faery Queene. Book I. Canto iv. Stanza 17. 

' Briareus or Aegaeon, a giant with fifty heads and one hundred 
hands. Homer mentions him in Iliad. I. 403. 

* The helmet of Pluto, made by the Cyclops, had the peculiar 
property of rendering the wearer invisible. Mercury wore it in 
the battle with the giants, and Perseus in his contest with the 
Gorgons. Minerva puts it on when she is helping Diomede against 
Mars on the plain of Troy. Homer. Iliad. T. 845. Por Bacon's 
version of the fable of Perseus, see Perseus; or War, in the Wisdom 
of the Ancients. 


the execution. For when things are once come to 
the execution, there is no secrecy comparable to 
celerity; like the motion of a bullet in the air, 
which flieth so swift as it outruns the eye. 

XXII. Of Cunning. 

We take Cunning for a sinister or crooked wis- 
dom. And certainly there is a great difference be- 
tween a cunning man and a wise man ; not only in 
point of honesty, but in point of abOity. There be 
that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well ; so 
there are some that are good in canvasses and fac- 
tions, that are otherwise weak men. Again, it is one 
thing to understand persons, and another thing to 
understand matters ; for many are perfect in men's 
humours, that are not greatly capable of the real 
part of business ; which is the constitution of one 
that hath studied men more than books. Such men 
are fitter for practice than for counsel ; and they 
are good but in their own alley: ^ turn them to new 
men, and they have lost their aim ; so as the old 
rule to know a fool from a wise man, Mitte anibos 
nudos adignotos, et videbis,^ doth scarce hold for them. 
And because these cunning men are like haber- 

* ^ lley, A long narrow passage for playing at howls ; a metaphor 
fron. (he game of bowls. 

' Send both naked to those who do not know, and you will see. 
Diogenes Laertius, II. 73, attributes this saying to Aristlppus. 
"One of the philosophers was asked; What a wise man differed 
from a fool? He answered; Send them, both naked to those that 
know them not, and you shall perceive." Bacon. Apophthegmes 
New and Old. 2BB (189). 


dashers 1 of small wares, it is not amiss to set forth 
their shop. 

It is a point of cunning, to wait^ upon In'm 
with whom you speak, with j'our eye ; as the 
Jesuits give it in precept : for there be many wise 
men that have secret hearts and transparent counte- 
nances. Yet this would.^ be done with a demure 
abasing of your eye sometimes, as the Jesuits also 
do use. 

Another is, that when you have anything to ob- 
tain of present despatch, you entertain and amuse 
the party with whom you deal with some other dis- 
course ; that he be not too much awake to make ob- 
jections. I knew a counsellor and secretary, that 
never came to Queen EUzabeth of England with 
bills to sign, but he would always first put her into 
some discourse of estate, that she mought the less 
mind the bills. 

The like surprise maybe made by moving* things 
when the party is in haste, and cannot stay to con- 
sider advisedly of that is moved. 

If a man would cross a business that he doubts 
some other would handsomely and effectually move, 
let him pretend to wish it well, and move it himself 
in such sort as may foil it. 

The breaking off in the midst of that^ one was 

^ Haberdasher. A dealer in smaU wares pertaining to dress, 
such as tape, thread, ribbon, etc. ;, 

2 To wait upon or on. To look watchfully to. "Wait o* ,.-tIie 
Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thy heart: wait, 
I say, on the Lord." Psalms xxvi. 14. 

' Would. Should. 

*Move. To propose or bring forward for consideration or ac- 

5 That. What. 


about to say, as if lie took himself up, breeds a greater 
appetite in him with whom you confer to know more. 

And because it works better when anything 
seemeth to be gotten from you by question, than if 
you offer it of yourself, you may lay a bait for a 
question, by showing another visage and counte- 
nance than you are wont ; to the end to give oc- 
casion for the party to ask what the matter ^ is of 
the change ? As Nehemias did ; And I had not be- 
fore that time been sad be/ore the 'king?' 

In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is 
good to break the ice by some whose words are of 
less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice 
to come in as by chance, so that he may be asked 
the question upon the other's speech ; as Narcissus 
did, in relating to Claudius the marriage of Messa- 
lina and Silius.^ 

In things that a man would not be seen in him- 
self, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name of 
the world; as to say. The world says, or There is a 
speech abroad. 

I knew one that, when he wrote a letter, he would 
put that which was most material in the postscript, 
as if it had been a bye-matter. 

I knew another that, when he came to have speech, 
he would pass over that that he intended most ; and 
go forth, and come back again, and speak of it as 
of a thing that he had almost forgot. 

1 Matter, Cause. 

"I have almost matter enough in me for such an emhassage." 
Shakspere. Much Ado About Nothing, i. 1. 

2 Nehemiah ii. 1. 

' Tacitus. Annalium Liber XI. 29. 


Some procure themselves to be surprised at such 
times as it is like the party that they work upon 
will suddenly come upon them; and to be found 
with a letter in their hand, or doing somewhat 
which they are not accustomed; to the end they 
may be apposed^ of those things which of them- 
selves they are desirous to utter. 

It is a point of cunning, to let fall those words 
in a man's own name, which he would have another 
man learn and use, and thereupon take advantage. 
I knew two that were competitors for the secre- 
tary's place in Queen Elizabeth's time, and yet kept 
good quarter 2 between themselves ; and would con- 
fer one with another upon the business ; and the one 
of them said, That to be a secretary in the declina- 
tion^ of a monarchy was a ticklish thing, and that he 
did not affect it : the other straight caught up those 
words, and discoursed with divers of his friends, 
that he had no reason to desire to be secretary in 
the declination of a monarchy. The first man took 
hold of it, and found means it was told the Queen ; 
who hearing of a declination of a monarchy, took it 
so ill, as* she would never after hear of the other's 

1 Appose. To examine ; to question. 

^ Qiuirter. Relations with, or conduct towards, another, espe- 
cially in the phrase to keep good (or fair) quarter with (between). 

"So he would keep fair quarter with his bed." 

Shakspere. The Oomedy of Errors, ii. 1. 

^ Declination. A gradual falling oS from, a condition of pros- 
perity or vigor; decline. 

* As. That. 

' In 1597, Sir Robert Cecil was made secretary of state over Sir 
Thomas Bodley, who was the candidate of the Earl of Essex. Mr. 
Spedding first suggested that Bacon is here relating a cunning 
trick played by his cousin, the younger Cecil. 


There is a cunning, which we in England call 
The turning of the cat in the pan;^ which is, when 
that which a man says to another, he lays it as if an- 
other had said it to him. And to say truth, it is not 
easy, when such a matter passed between two, to 
make it appear from which of them it first moved 
and began. 

It is a way that some men have, to glance and dart at 
others by justifying themselves by negatives ; as to 
say. This I do not: as Tigellinus did toward Burrhus, 
Se non diversas spes, sed incolumitatem imperatoris 
simplieiter spectare.^ 

Some have in readiness so many tales and stories, 
as there is nothing they would insinuate, but they 
can wrap it into a tale; which serveth both to 
keep themselves more in^ guard, and to make others 
carry it with more pleasure. 

It is a good point of cunning, for a man to shape 
the answer he would have in his own words and 
propositions ; for it makes the other party stick the 

It is strange how long some men will lie in wait 
to speak somewhat they desire to say ; and how far 
about they will fetch ; * and how many other matters 

^To turn the cat in the pan. To reverse the order of things so 
dexterously as to -make them appear the very opposite of what they 
really are. The origin of the phrase is obscure. 

^ That he had not expectations from different quarters, but looked 
simply to the safety of the emperor. Tacitus. Annalium Liber 
XIT. .57. 

' In. On. "But look you pray, all you that kiss my Lady Feace 
at home, that our armies join not in a hot day." Shakspere. II. 
King Henry IT. i. 2. 

*To fetch about. To take a roundabout course or method. 
"And, like a shifted wind unto a sail, 
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about." 

Shakspere. King John. iv. 2. 


they will beat over, to come near it. It is a thing of 
great patience, but yet of much use. 

A sudden, bold and unexpected question doth 
many times surprise a man, and lay him open. 
Like to him that, having changed his name and 
walking in Paul's, another suddenly came behind him 
and called him by his true name, whereat straight- 
ways he looked back. 

But these small wares and petty points of cun- 
ning are infinite ; and it were a good deed to make a 
list of them ; for that nothing doth more hurt in a 
state than that cunning men pass for wise. 

But certainly some there are that know the re- 
sorts^ and falls^ of business, that cannot sink into 
the main of it ; like a house that hath convenient 
stairs and entries, but never a fair room. There- 
fore you shall see them find out pretty^ looses* in 
the conclusion,^ but are no ways able to examine or 
debate matters. And yet commonly they take ad- 
vantage of their inability, and would be thought 
wits of direction. Some build rather upon the 

^Resort. Spring; active power or movement. A Gallicism. 
^ Fall. What befalls or happens; chance. 
"Black be your fa'.'" 

Burns. Address to the Deil. xvi. 
" Pretty. Suitable ; fit ; convenient. 
"Armado. Pretty and apt." 

"Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty and my saying apt, or I 
apt, and my saying pretty?" 

Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost. i. 2. 
♦ Loose. Issue, way of escape. In archery, a loose is the dis- 
charge of the arrow or dart from the bow. 

"The extreme dart of time extremely forms 
All causes to the purpose of his speed; 
And often, at his very loose, decides 
That which long process could not arbitrate." 

Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost. -u. ii. 
^ Conclusion. Final determination, decision, resolution. 


abusing of others, and (as we now say) putting tricks 
upon them, than upon soundness of their own pro- 
ceedings. But Salomon saith, Prudens advertit ad 
gressus suos : stultus divertit ad dolos.^ 

XXIII. Of "Wisdom for a Man's Self. 

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a 
shrewd^ thing in an orchard or garden. And cer- 
tainly men that are great lovers of themselves 
waste^ the public. Divide with reason between self- 
love and society ; and be so true to thyself, as thou 
be not false to others 5 * specially to thy king and 
country. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, Mm- 

^ The prudent man looks to his steps : the fool turns aside to 
deceits. Proverbs xiv. 8. This is a translation of Bacon's Latin. 
The Authorized Version is.: "The wisdom, of the prudent is to 
understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit." As Bacon 
remembered this saying of Solomon's, it seems to be made up from 
two verses of the Yulgate, loosely quoted: — Sapientia calliM est 
intelligere viam suam; et imprudentia stultorum errans. Proverbs 
xiv. 8, and astutus considerat gressus suos. Proverbs adv. 15. 
^ Shrewd. Sly, mischievous, unkind. 

"Do my Lord of Canterbury 
A shrewd turn, and he is your friend for ever." 

Shakspere. King Henry Till. v. 2. 

"For many are wise in their own ways that are weak for gov- 
ernment or counsel; like ants, which is a wise creature for itself, 
but very hurtful for the garden," Advancement of Learning. 
II. xxiii. 10. 

^ Waste. To lay waste; to devastate. 

* "To thine own self be true; 

And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, i. 3. 


self. It is right^ earth. For that only stands fast 
upon his own centre ; ^ whereas all things that have 
affinity with the heavens, move upon the centre of 
another, which they benefit. The referring of all to 
a man's self is more tolerable in a sovereign prince ; 
because themselves are not only themselves, but 
their good and evil is at the peril of the public for- 
tune. But it is a desperate evil in a servant to a 
prince, or a citizen in a republic. For whatsoever 
affairs pass such a man's hands, he crooketh^ them 
to his own ends ; which must needs be often eccen- 
tric to the ends of his master or state. Therefore 
let princes, or states, choose such servants as have 
not this mark; except they mean their service 
should be made but the aceessary.C~~That which 
maketh the effect more pernicious is that aU pro- 
portion is lost. It were disproportion enough for 
the servant's good to be preferred before the mas- 
ter's ; but yet it is a greater extreme, when a Httle 
good of the servant shall carry things against a 
great good of the master's. And yet that is the case 
of bad officers, treasurers, ambassadors, generals, and 
other false and corrupt servants ; which set a bias^ 
upon their bowl, of their own petty ends and euAdes, 
to the overthrow of their master's great and impor- 
tant affairs. And for the most part, the good such 

' Right. True, genuine, actual, real. "The Poet is indeed the 
right Popiilar Philosopher. Whereof Esops tales give good proofe." 
Sir Philip Sidney. The Defense of Poene. p. IS. 

2 Baoon accepted the Ptolemaic system, which made the earth 
the centre of the universe. The Copernioan system was not gener- 
ally received until long after his time. 

'Crook. To bend or turn out of the straight course; to pervert. 

'Accessary, also spelled accessory. 

''Bias. A. weight in one side of the howl, that is, 'hall,' which de- 
flects it from the straight line. 


servants receive is after the model of their own 
fortune ; but the hurt they sell for that good is 
after the model of their master's fortune. And 
certainly it is the nature of extreme self -lovers, as 
they will set an house on fire, and^ it were but to 
roast their eggs ; ^ and yet these men many times 
hold credit with their masters, because their study 
is but to please them and profit themselves ; and 
for either respect they will abandon the good of 
their affairs. 

Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches 
thereof, a depraved thing. It is the wisdom of rats, 
that will be sure to leave a house somewhat before 
it fall. It is wisdom of the fox, that thrusts out the 
badger, who digged and made room for him. It is 
the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed tears when they 
would devour.^ But that which is specially to be 
noted is, that those which (as Cicero says of 
Pompey*) are sui amantes sine rivali,^ are many 

> And. If. 

2 The motive of Lamb's essay, A Dissertation upon Boast Pig, 
turns on the drollery that the art of roasting was discovered in 
China by the accidental butaing of a cottage containing "a fine 
litter of new-farrowed pigs, no less than nine in number." 

^ "His nature is ever when he would "have his prey to cry and 
sob like a Christian body, to provoke them to come to him, and then 
he snatcheth at them." Master John Hawkins's Second Voyage. 
Eakluyt. p. 534. ed. 1598. 

"the mournful crocodile 
With sorrow snares relenting passengers;" 

Shakspere. II. King Henry YI. Hi. 1. 

*Cneius Pompeins Magnus, surnamed 'the Great,' 106-48 B.C. 
With Caesar and Orassus, Pompey formed the first triumvirate, 60 
B.C. He was defeated by Caesar in the battle of Pharsalus, in 
Thessaly, 48 B.C. 

^ Lovers of themselves, without a rival (quam se ipse amans sine 
rivali). Cicero, Ad Quintum Fratrem. III. 8. 4. The Corre- 
spondence of M. TvXlius Cicero. Robert Yelverton Tyrrell. Vol. II. 
p. 194. 


times unfortunate. And whereas they hkve all their 
times sacrificed to themselves, they become in the 
end themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy of for- 
tune, whose wings they thought bv their self -wisdom 
to have pinioned. 

XXIV. Of Innovations. 

As the births of living creatures at first are ill- 
shapen, so are all Innovations, which are the births 
of time. Yet notwithstanding, as those that first 
bring honour into their family are commonly more 
worthy than most that succeed, so the first precedent 
(if it be good) is seldom attained by imitation. For 
111, to man's nature as it stands perverted, hath a 
natural motion, strongest in contiuuance ; but Good, 
as a forced motion, strongest at first. Surely every 
medicine 1 is an innovation; and he that will not 
apply new remedies must expect new evils ; for time 
is the greatest innovator ; and l£ time of course alter 
things to 2 the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall 
not alter them to the better, what shall be the end ? 
It is true, that what is settled by custom, though it 
be not good, yet at least it is fit ; and those things 
which have long gone together, are as it were con- 
federate within themselves; whereas new things 
piece not so well ; but though they help by their 
utility, yet they trouble by their inconf ormity.^ Be- 

1 Medicine. Remedy. 
- To. For. 

^ Inconformity. Want of conformity 'to' ('unto') or 'with' a pat- 
tern; dissimilarity. 


sides, they are like strangers ; more admired and less 
favoured. AH this is true, if time stood still ; which 
contrariwise moveth so ronnd,^ that a froward re- 
tention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an inno- 
vation ; and they that reverence too much old times, 
are but a scorn to the new. It were good there- 
fore that men in their innovations would follow the 
example of time itself; which indeed innovateth 
greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be per- 
ceived. For otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked 
for ; and ever it mends some, and pairs ^ other ; and he 
that is holpen^ takes it for a fortune, and thanks the 
time ; and he that is hurt, for a wrong, and imputeth 
it to the author. It is good also not to try experi- 
ments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or 
the utility evident ; and weU to beware that it be 
the reformation that draweth on the change, and not 
the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation. 
And lastly, that the novelty, though it be not re- 
jected, yet be held for a suspect ; * and, as the Scrip- 

^Sov/nd, flat adverb, quick, swiff; the idea is of an easy, smootli, 
brisk motion, like that of a wheel. 

"Bound was their pace at first, but slacken'd soon." 

Tennyson. Geraint and Enid. 
^ Pairs. iTnpairs, injures. 

"No faith BO fast (quoth she) but flesh does pairs. 
Flesh may empaire (quoth he) but reason can repairs." 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Book I. Canto vii. Stanza 41. 

' Holpen. Strong past participle of help. 

"The holy blisful martir for to seeke, 
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke." 

Chaucer. The Prologue. II. 17—18. 
* Suspect. Suspicion. 

"My Lord of Gloster, 't is my special hope, 
That you will clear yourself from all suspect." 

Shakspere. II. King Henry YI. Hi. 1. 


ture saith, that we make a stand upon the ancient way, 
and then looh about us, and discover what is the straight 
and right way, and so to walk in it} 

XXV. Of Dispatch. 

Affected dispatch is one of the most dangerous 
things to business that can be. It is like that which 
the physicians call predigestion, or hasty digestion ; 
which is sure to fill the body full of crudities and 
secret seeds of diseases. Therefore measure not 
dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advance- 
ment of the business. And as in races it is not the 
large stride or high lift that makes the speed ; so in 
business, the keeping close to the matter, and not 
taking of it too much at once, procureth dispatch. 
It is the care of some only to come off speedily for 
the time ; or to contrive some false periods of busi- 
ness, because ^ they may seem men of dispatch. But 
it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, another 
by cutting off. And business so handled at several 
sittings or meetings goeth commonly backward and 
forward in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man 
that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten 

^ "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask 
for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye 
shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah vi. 16. 

2 Because. That, in order that, usually followed by a redundant 
'that.' "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on 
him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because 
that Jesus was not yet glorified," John vii. 39. 


to a conclusion, Stay a little, that we may make an end 
the sooner.^ 

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing. 
For time is the measure of business, as money is of 
wares ; and business is bought at a dear hand where 
there is small dispatch. The Spartans and Span- 
iards have been noted to be of small dispatch ; Mi 
venga la miierte de Spagna;'^ Let my death come from 
Spain; for then it will be sure to be long in coming. 

Give good hearing to those that give the first in- 
formation in business ; and rather direct them in the 
beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance 
of their speeches ; for he that is put out of his own 
order wiU go forward and backward, and be more 
tedious while he waits upon his memorjr, than he 
could have been if he had gone on in his own course. 
But sometimes it is seen that the moderator is more 
troublesome than the actor. 

Iterations^ are commonly loss of time. But there 
is no such gain of time as to iterate often the state 
of the question ; for it chaseth away many a frivolous 
speech as it is coming forth. Long and curious 
speeches are as fit for dispatch, as a robe or mantle 
with a long train is for race. Prefaces and passages,* 

^ "Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any 
matter, was wont to say, Stay a while, that we may make an end 
the sooner.*' Bacon. Apophtheffmes New and Old. 76 (71). Sir 
Amias Paulet or Poulet, 1536 (?)— 1588, was keeper of Mary Queen 
of Scots from 1585 to her execution in 1587—1588. When Paulet was 
sent as the Queen's ambassador to France, in 1576, Bacon, then a 
lad of about sixteen, accompanied him as a member of his household. 

^ This proverb is a curious mixture of Italian and Spanish. It is 
an Italian saying and should read, Mi venga la morte di Spagna. 

* Iteration. Repetition. 

"0, thou hast damnable iteration, and art, indeed, able to corrupt a 
saint." Shakspere. I. King Henry IT. i. 2. 

* Passages, Interchange of communications, negotiations. 


and excusations,^ and other speeches of reference to 
the person, are gi-eat wastes of time ; and though 
they seem to proceed of ^ modesty, they are bravery. 
Yet beware of being too material^ when there is any 
impediment or obstruction in men's wills ; for pre- 
occupation of mind ever reqnireth preface of speech ; 
like a fomentation* to make the unguent^ enter. 

Above aU things, order, and distribution, and sin- 
gling out of parts, is the life of dispatch ; so as the 
distribution be not too subtle : for he that doth not 
divide will never enter well into business ; and he 
that divideth too much will never come out of it 
clearly. To choose time is to save time ; and an un- 
seasonable motion is but beating the air. There be 
three parts of business ; the preparation, the debate 
or examination, and the perfection. Whereof, if 
you look for dispatch, let the middle only be the 
work of many, and the first and last the work of 
few. The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in 
writing doth for the most part facilitate dispatch : 
for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that 
negative is more pregnant of direction than an in- 
definite; as ashes are more generative than dust. 

^ Excusations. Excuses, 

2 Of. From. "And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and 
burn them upon the altar for a burnt ofifering, for a sweet savour 
before the Lord: it is an ofEering made by fire unto the Lord." 
Exodus xxix. 25. 

3 Material. Full of matter. 

"A material fool!" 

Shakapere. As You Like It. Hi. 3. 

* Fomentation. The application to the surface of the tody either 
of flannels, etc., soaked in hot water, whether simple or medicated, 
or of any other warm, soft, medicinal substance. 

'' Vnuuenl. Any soft substance used as an ointment or for 


XXVI. Of Seeming Wise.^ 

It hath been an opinion, that the French are wiser 
than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than 
they are. But howsoever it be between nations, 
certainly it is so between man and man. For as 
the Apostle saith of godliness. Having a shew of god- 
liness, but denying the power thereof;^ so certainly 
there are in point of wisdom and suflciency, that do 
nothing or little very solemnly : magna conatu nugas.^ 
It is a ridiculous thing and fit for a satire to persons 
of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, 
and what prospectives * to make superficies ^ to seem 
body that hath depth and bulk. Some are so close 
and reserved, as they will not shew their wares but 

^ "In the essay on Seeming Wise we can trace from the impa- 
tient notes put down in his Commentarius Solutus, the picture of 
the man who stood in his way, the Attorney-General Hobart." 
B. W, Church. Bacon, in English Men of Letters. 

Sir Henry Hobart, d. 1625, chief justice of the common pleas. 
He became attorney-general July 4, 1606, and barred Bacon*s path 
to promotion for seven years. The Dictionary of National Biog- 
raphy says of Hobart: "He was a very modest and learned lawyer, 
and as a judge escaped the charge of subserviency to the crown." 

* II. Timothy Hi. 5. 

^ Play the fool with great effort. "Nae, ista hercle magno jam 
conatu magnas nugas dixerit." Terence. Heauton-timorumenos. 
IV. 1. 

A marginal note in the Commentarius Solutus, on "Hubbard's 
disadvantages" reads, "Solemn goose." 

* Prospective. A perspective glass, a telescope. 

"What means my sister's eye so oft to passe 
Through the long entry of that Optic glasse? 

And is this all? doth thy Prospective please 
Th' abused fancy with no shapes but these?" 
Francis Quarles. Emblemes. III. xiv. 1, 2, 13, 14. 

• Superficies. The surface. 


by a dark light ; and seem always to keep back some- 
what ; and when they know within themselves they 
speak of that they do not well know, would never- 
theless seem to others to know of that which they 
, may not well speak.^ Some help themselves with 
countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs ; as 
Cicero saith of Piso,^ that when he answered him, 
he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and 
bent the other down to his chin ; Bespondes, altera 
adfronUm suhlato, altero ad menhim depresso super- 
cilio, crudelitatem tibi non placere? Some think to 
bear* it by speaking a great word, and being peremp- 
tory ; and go on, and take by admittance that which 
they cannot make good . Some, whatsoever is beyond 
their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it 
as impertinent ^ or curious ; ^ and so would have their 
ignorance seem judgment. Some are never without 
a difference,'' and commonly by amusing men with 
a subtUty, blanch ^ the matter; of whom A. Gellius® 

^ "Gravity is a mysterious carriage of the body, invented to 
cover the defects of the mind." Maxitnes et BSflexions Morales du 
due de La Rochefoucauld. 257. (Paris. 1828.) 

2 Lucius Calpurnius Piso, Consul with Gabinius, 58 B.C., the 
year of Cicero's exile, father-in-law of Julius Caesar. Cicero's bit- 
terest invective speech was delivered in the senate, against Piso, 
55 B.o. 

' With one brow elevated to your forehead, and the other de- 
pressed to your chin, you respond that cruelty is not pleasing to you. 
M. Tullii Ciceronis in L. Calpurnium Pisonem Oratio. vi. 14. 

* Bear. Carry on, deal with. 

Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in, 
Bear 't that th' opposed may beware of thee." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, i. 3, 

' Impertinent, Latin sense, not pertaining to, irrelevant. 

* Curious. Over-nice, exacting. 
''Difference. A. subtile distinction. 
'Blanch. Evade, pass over. 

»Aulus Gellins, bom about 130 A.D., Roman grammarian; he 
wrote Nodes Atticae, in twenty books, first printed in 1469. 


saith, Hominem delirum, qui verhorum minutiis rerum 
frangit pondera} Of which kind also, Plato ^ in his 
Protagoras bringeth in Prodicus in scorn, and mak- 
eth him make a speech that consisteth of distinctions 
from the beginning to the end. Generally, such men _ 
in all deliberations find ease to be of the negative 
side, and affect a credit to object' and foretell diffi- 
culties ; for when propositions are denied, there is 
an end of them ; but if they be allowed, it requireth 
a new work ; which false point of wisdom is the bane 
of business. To conclude, there is no decaying mer- 
chant, or inward beggar,^ hath so many tricks to 
uphold the credit of their wealth, as these empty 
persons have to maintain the credit of their suffi- 
ciency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get 
opinion ; but let no man choose them for employ- 
ment ; for certainly you were better take for busi- 
ness a man somewhat absurd than over- formal. 

^ A foolish man who fritters away weighty matters with niceties 
of words. Bacon is not quoting Aulus Gellius here, but Quintilian, 
who says of Seneca: si rerum pondera minutiasimis sententiis non 
fregisset, consensu potius eruditorum quwm puerorum amore com- 
probaretur. If he had not broken the weight of things with the 
most minute sentences, he would have "won the unanimous approval 
of the learned, rather than the admiration of boys. if. Fabii Quiti- 
tiliani de Institutione Oratoria Liber X. i. 130. 

-Plato, 429 or 427-347 B.C. His name was originally Aristo- 
cles, but he was surnamed Plato (IIAaTwi') from his broad shoulders. 
A famous Greek philosopher, a disciple of Socrates and the teacher 
of Aristotle. Plato expounded his philosophv in a series of dia- 
logues, of which the Protagoras is one. There is still no greater ex- 
position of idealism than is contained in Plato's 'Dialogues.' 

' Inward beggar. One who is really bankrupt, though keeping 
up the appearance of solvency. 


XXVII. Of Friendship. 

It had been hard for him that spake it to have put 
more truth and untruth together in few words, than 
in that speech, Whosoever is delighted in solitude is 
either a wild beast or a god} For it is most true 
that a natural and secret hatred' and aversation ^ 
towards society in any man, hath somewhat of the 
savage beast ; but it is most untrue that it should 
have any character at all of the divine nature ; ex- 
cept^ it proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, 
but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's 
self for a higher conversation : * such as is found to 
have been falsely and feignedly in some of the 
heathen ; as Epimenides ^ the Candian, Numa ^ the 
Roman, Empedocles ' the Sicilian, and ApoUonius 

^ "But he "who is unable to live in society, or who has no need 
because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god : 
he is no part of a state." The Politics of Aristotle, Translated into 
English by B. Jowett. Vol. I. i. 2, 

2 Aversation towards. Aversion to. 

3 Except. Unless. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee. Except a man be born again, he cannot see 
the Kingdom of God." John Hi. 3. 

* Conversation. Mode or course of life. "Who is a wise man 
and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good 
conversation his works with meekness of wisdom," James Hi. 13. 

^ Epimenides, a Cretan poet and prophet, who lived in the 7th 
century B.C. He was said to have fallen into a sleep that lasted 
fifty-seven years, and to have lived two hundred and ninety-nine 

"Numa Pompilius, second King of Rome, 715-673 B.C. The 
origin of many Roman institutions is referred to Numa, such as 
the flamens, vestal virgins, pontifices, etc. He was supposed to 
have been instructed in the art of legislation by the nymph Egeria. 

'Empedocles was born at Agrigentum, Sicily, and lived 490-430 
B.C. He was a Greek philosopher, poet, and statesman. He was 
said to have declared himself to be Immortal, and to be able to cure 
all evils. 


of Tyana ; ^ and truly and really in divers of the 
ancient hermits and holy fathers of the church. But 
little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far 
it extendeth. For a crowd is not compam zx and 
faces are but a gallery of pictures ; and talk but a 
tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.^ The Latin 
adage meeteth with it a little : Magna civitas, magna 
solitudo;^ because in a great town friends are scat- 
tered ; so that there is not that fellowship, for the 
most part, which is in less neighbourhoods. But we 
may go further, and affirm most truly that it is a 
mere * and miserable soUtude to want true friends ; 
without which the world is but a wilderness ; and 
even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the 
frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friend- 
ship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from human- 

A Tjrincipal fruit of friendshiT) is the ease, and 
discharge of the fulness and swelline^s of the heart, 

^ Apollonius was born at Tyana, Oappadocia, and lived from 
about 4 B.C. to about 97 a.d. He was a Pythagorean pbiloBopher 
and reputed magician and wonder-worker. Divine honors were 
paid to Apollonius in the 3d century and his bust was placed by 
Alexander Severus in his lararium with those of Abraham, Orpheus, 
and Christ. 

2 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and 
have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling 
cjTnbal." /. Corinthians xiii. 1. 

3 A great city is a great solitude. Erasmi Adagia. 

*Mere. Absolute, utter, whole, "It is Othello's pleasure, our 
noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, 
importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put 
himself into triumph." ShaJcspere. Othello, ii. B. 

^Humanity. Human nature; man in the abstract. "Oh, there 
be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and 
that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having 
the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor 
Turk, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some 
of Nature's journeymen had made them, and not made them well, 
they imitated humanity so abominably." ShaJcspere, Hamlet, Hi. S. 


which passions of all kinds do cause and induce . 
We know diseases of stoppings and suffocations are 
the most dangerous in the body ; and it is not much 
otherwise in the mind ; you may take sarza^ to open 
the liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur ^ 
for the lungs, castoreum^ for the brain; b ut no x Sz— 
ceipt openeth the heart, b ut a true friend ; to whom 
you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, 
counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to 
oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession. 

It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate 
great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of 
friendship whereof we speak : so great, as they pur- 
chase it many times at the hazard of their own 
safety and greatness, "r^or princes, in regard of the 
distance of their fortune from that of their subjects 
and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to 
make themselves capable thereof) they raise some 
persons to be as it were companions and almost 
equa ls to themselves, which many times sorteth to 
inconvenience. The modern languages give unto 
such persons the name of favourites, or privadoes ; * 
as if it were matter of grace, or conversation. But 
the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause 
thereof, naming them, participes curarum;^ for it is 
that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly that 
this hath been done, not by weak and passionate 

^ Sana. SarsapariUa. 

-Flower of sulphur. A yellow powder formed hy condensing the 
vapor of sulphur. 

* Caatoreum. A secretion of the heaver formerly of high repute 
in medicine. 

* Privado. Spanish word, a private or intimate friend. 

* Sharers of cares, partners in sorrows. 


princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that 
ever reigned; who have oftentimes joined to them- 
selves some of their servants ; whom both themselves 
have called friends, and allowed others likewise to 
call them in the same manner ; using the word which 
is received between private men. 

L. SyUa,^ when he commanded Rome, raised Pom- 
pey (after surnamed the Great) to that height, that 
Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-match. 
For when he had carried the consulship for a-friend 
of his, against the pursuit of Sylla, and that SyUa 
did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, 
Pompey turned upon him again, and in effect bade 
him be quiet ; for that more men adored the sun ris- 
ing than the sun setting? With Julius CEesar, Deci- 
mus Brutus^ had obtained that interest, as he set 
him down in his testament for heir in remainder 
after his nephew. And this was the man that had 
power with him to draw him forth to his death. 
For when Caesar would have discharged the senate, 
in regard of some ill presages, and specially a dream 
of Calpurnia ; * this man lifted him gently by the 
arm out of his chair, telling him he hoped he would 
not dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamt a 
better dream.^ And it seemeth his favour was so 
great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verba- 

^ Lucius Cornelius Sulla, surnamed Felix, lived from about 138 
to 78 B.C., a celebrated Roman general and dictator. 

- Plutarch. Life of Pompey. 

sDecimus Junius Brutus, surnamed Albinus, Roman general, 
one of tbe assassins of Caesar, executed 43 B.C. He was betrayed 
and put to death by Antony. 

* Calpurnia, daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso, and third wife 
of Caesar. 

^Plutarch. Life of Caesar. 


Urn in one of Cicero's Philippics,^ calleth him vene- 
fica, witch; as if he had enchanted Caesar.- Augustus 
raised Agrippa^ (though of mean birth) to that 
height, as* wlien he consulted with Maecenas' about 
the marriage of his daughter Julia, Maecenas took 
the liberty to tell him, that he must either marry his 
daughter to Agrippa, or take atvay his life : there was 
no third way, he had made him so greatfi With 
Tiberius Caesar, Sejanus had ascended to that height, 
as they two were termed and reckoned as a pair of 
friends. Tiberius in a letter to him saith, hcec 
pro amicitid nostrd non occultavi;'' and the whole 
senate dedicated an altar to Friendship, as to 
a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of 
friendship between them two. The like or more 
was between Septimius Severus and Plautianus. 
For he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter 
of Plautianus ; and would often maintain Plautianus 
in doing affronts to his son ; and did write also in 
a letter to the senate, by these words : I love the 
man so well, as I wish he may over-live^ me. Now if 

^ Cicero's PhUippies are fourteen orations against Antony, deliv- 
ered in 44—43. The original Philippics are Demosthenes's nine 
orations against Philip of Macedon. 

2 M. Tvllii Ciceronia in M, Antonium Oratio Philippiea Tertia 
Decima. XI. 25. 

° Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, 63—12 B.C., Roman commander and 
the leading statesman of the reign of Augustus. His third wife was 
Julia, daughter of Augustus and widow of Marcellus. 

* As. That. 

'Caius Cilnius Maecenas, died 8 B.C., Roman statesman and 
patron of letters. With Agrippa, he was the chief adviser of 
Augustus down to 16 B.C., when he became estranged from his 
master and retired to private life. He was the friend and patron 
of Horace and Vergil. 

^ Dion Cassius. Liber LVT. 6. 

' Because of our friendship, I have not concealed these things. 
P. Comelii Taciti AnnaXium Liber IT. 40. 

' Overlive. To survive ; to outlive. "And Israel served the Lord 


these princes had been as a Trajan ^ or a Marcus 
Aurelius,^ a man might have thought that this had 
proceeded of an abundant goodness of nature ; but 
being men so wise, of such strength and severity of 
mind, and so extreme lovers of themselves, as aU 
these were, it proveth most plainly that they found 
their own felicity (though as great as ever happened 
to mortal men) but as an half piece, except they 
m ought ^ have a friend to make it entire ; and yet, 
which* is more, they were princes that had wives, 
sons, nephews ; and yet all these could not supply 
the comfort of friendship. 

It is not to be forgotten what Comineus ^ observeth 
of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy ;^ 
namely, that he would communicate'' his secrets 
with none; and least of aJl, those secrets which 
troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on and 

all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived 
Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he 
had done for Israel." Joshua xxiv. 31. The quotation is from Dion 
Cassius Cocceianus (Cassii Dionis Cocceiani Historiae Romanae 
Liber LXXT. 15). 

1 Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, surnamed Dacicus and Parthicus, 
born about 53, died 117 A.D., Boman emperor from 98 to 117 a.d. 

2 Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, originally Marcus Annus VeruB, 
commonly known as Marcus Aurelius, 121—180 a.d., Boman em- 
peror from 161 to 180 a.d. He wrote, in Greek, a very celebrated 
book, entitled. The Meditations of Marcus Antoninus. 

^ Mought. Old form of might. 

"So sound he slept, that nought mouffht him awake." 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Boole I. Canto i. Stanza 42. 

* Which. What. 

"Which a miracle ther befel anoou." 

Chaucer. The Enightes Tale. Line 1817. 

^ Philippe de Comines, or Oommines, or Comynes, born about 
1445, died in 1519, a French statesman and historian. 

'Charles the Bold (French, le Timiraire), 1433-1477, Duke of 

"^ Oormminicate. To inform a person of; to tell. Now construed 
with 'to' instead of 'with.' 


saith that towards his latter time that closeness did 
impair and a little perish^ his understanding. Surely 
Comineus mought have made the same judgment 
also, if it had pleased him, of his second master 
Lewis the Eleventh,^ whose closeness was indeed 
his tormentor. The parable ^ of Pythagoras* is 
dark, but true ; Cor ne edito : Hat not the heart? 
•^Jertainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, 
those that want friends to open themselves unto 
are cannibals of their own hearts."^ But one thing 
is most admirable (wherewith I will conclude this 
first fruit of friendship), which is, that this com- 
municat ing of a man's self to bis friend works two 
con ta-ary effects ; for it redouble th joys, and 
cuttetT griefs inhalfs. For there is no nian that 
imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the 
"TnoreT and no man tiiat xmparteth bis^riefs_to_H"s 
~ friend, but h^'^ieveth the less. So that it is in 
truth of operation upon a man's mind, of like virtue 
as the alchymists use to attribute to their stone for 
man's body; that it worketh all contrary effects, 
but stiU to the good and benefit of natxire. But 

^Perish, a transitive verb. 

"You are an innocent, 
A soul as white as Heaven; let not my sins 
Perish your noble youth." 
Beawmont and Fletcher. The Maid's Tragedy, iv. 1. 

''Louis XI., 1423-1483, King of France from 1461 to 1483. 
The historical setting of Sir Walter Scott's great novel, Quen- 
tin Durward, based largely on the Mimoires of Philippe de Comines, 
is the time of Louis XI. and Charles the Bold. 

3 Parable means proverb here. 

* Pythagoras, born about 582 B.C., died about 500 B.C., Greek 
philosopher and mathematician. 

"4. Discourse Touching the Training of Children. 17. Plu- 
tarch's Miscellanies and Essays. Vol. I. Edited by W. W. Good- 
win. With Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson. 


yet without praying ^ in aid of alcliymists, there is 
a manifest image of this in the ordinary course of 
nature. For in bodies, union strengtheneth and 
cherisheth any natural action ; and on the other 
side weakeneth and duUeth any violent impression : 
and even so it is of ^ minds. 

The second fruit of friendship is healthful and 
sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for 
the affections. For friendship maketh indeed a fair 
day in the affections, from storm and tempest ; but 
it maketh daylight in the understanding, out of 
darkness and confusion of thoughts. 'Neither is 
this to be understood only of faithful counsel, which 0", 
a man receiveth from his friend; but before you 
come to that, certain it is that whosoever hath his 
mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and 
understanding do clarify and break up, in the com- 
municating and discoursing with another ; he toss- 
eth his thoughts more easily ; he marshalleth them 
more orderly ; he seeth how they look when they 
are turned into words: finally, he waxeth^ wiser 
than himself ; and that more Iby an hour's discourse 
than by a day's meditation. «i It was well said by 
Themistocles* to the king of Persia, That speech was 

^ Pray in ai&, in law, to eaU in as aid, one who has an interest 
in the cause. 

"and you shall find 
A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness, 
Where he for grace is kneel'd to." 

ShaJcspere. Antony and Cleopatra, -o. 2. 

^ Of means here with regard to, concerning. 

= Wax. To grow; to become. "And because iniquity shall 
abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew xxiv. 12. 

* Themistocles, born in the latter part of the 6th century B.C., 
died about 460 B.C., perhaps as late as 447 B.C., Athenian states- 
man and commander. 


like doth of Arras,^ opened and put abroad; whereby 
the imagery doth appear in figure; whereas in thoughts 
they lie but as in paclcs.^ Neither is the second fruit of 
friendship, in opening the understanding, restrained^ 
only to such friends as are able to give a man coun- 
sel; (they indeed are best;) but even without that, 
a man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own 
thoughts to light, and whettet^his wits as against 
a stone, which itself cuts not. "^n a word, a man 
were better^ relate himself to a statua^ or picture, 
than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.^^ 

Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship 
complete, that other point which lieth more open 
and falleth within vidgar"^ observation ;< which is 
f aithfid counsel from'^a friend. Heraclitus saith 
well in one of his enigmas. Dry light is ever the best^ 

^ Cloth of Arras. Tapestry, from Arras, the capital of the de- 
partment of Pas-de-Oalais, in the north of France. The expression 
*cloth of Arras* was probably used originally to distinguish tapestry 
from Arras from other kinds. 

^Plutarch. Life of Themistocles. "Themistocles said of speech; 
That it was like Arras, that spread abroad shews fair images, but 
contracted is hut liJce 'oaeks." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 

^ Restrained. Restricted, limited. 

* Were better. Old English idiom, with he and the dative, Mm 
were better, that is, 'it would be better for him.' The correct 
modern form of the idiom is had better, with the verb 'have' mean- 
ing 'hold' or 'regard,* like the Latin habere. 

'* "And, in his mantle mufQing up his face, 
Even at the base of Pompey's statua, 
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell." 

Shakspere. Julius Caesar. Hi, S. 

^Smother. The state of being stifled; suppression. 
^ Vulgar. Common, 

"Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, i. 3. 

^ Read, for this same thought, in the Wisdom of the Ancients, 
The Flight of Icarus; also, Scylla and Charyhdis; or the Middle 
Way. Also, Apophthegmes New and Old. 268 (188). 


And certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth 
by counsel from another, is drier and purer than 
that which cometh from his own understanding 
and judgment ; ^ which is ever infused and drenched 
in his affections and customs. So as there is as 
much difference between the counsel that a friend 
giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is 
between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. 
For there is no such flatterer a,s is a. ma,n's a^lf; 
and the re is no such re medy against flattery of a 
'man's self, as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of 
two sorts : the one concerning manners, the other 
concerning business. For the first, the best pre- 
servative to keep the mind in health is the faithful 
admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self 
to a strict account is a medicine, sometime, too pierc- 
ing and corrosive. Reading good books of morality 
is a little flat and dead. Observing our faults in 
others is sometimes improper for our case. But the 
best receipt (best, I say, to work, and best to take) 
is the admonition of a friend. ^JLt is a strange thing 
to behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities 
many (especially of the greater sort) dp commit, for 
want of a friend to tell them of them f to the great 
damage both of their fame and fortune : for, as St. 
James saith, they are as men that look sometimes in- 
to a glass, and presently forget their own shape and 
favour.^ As for business, a man may think, if he 
wiU, that two eyes see no more than one; or that 

^ "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like 
a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth him- 
self, and goeth his way, and straightway forgettetb what manner ot 
plan he was." fftmes t, gS, Si, 


a gamester seeth always more than a looker-on ; or 
that a man in anger is as wise as he that hath said 
over the four and twenty letters ;^ or that a musket 
may be shot off as well upon the arm as upon a 
rest; and such other fond^ and high imaginations, 
to think himself all in aU. But when aU is done, 
the help of good counsel is that which setteth busi- 
ness straight. *^ And if any man think that he will 
take counsel, but it shall be by pieces ; asking coun- 
sel in one business of one man, and in another 
business of another man ; it is well, (that is to say, 
better perhaps than, if he asked none at all ; ) but he 
runneth two dangers :^one, that he shall not be 
faithfully counselled ; ^or it is a rare thing, excep t 
it be from a perfect and entire frien d, to have o.r>n-n . 
sel given, but such a s shall be bowed and crooked 
to some en ds which he hath that giveth it.'^ The 
other, that heihailhave counsel given, hurtful and 
unsafe, (though with good meaning,) and mixed 
partly of inischief and partly of remedy ; even as 
if you would call a physician that is thought good 
for the cure of the disease you complain of, but is 
unacquainted with your body ; and therefore may 
put you in way for a present cure, but overthrow- 
eth your health in some other kind ; and so cure 
the disease and kill the patient. But a friend 

^ The English Grammar of Ben Jonson limits the English alpha- 
bet to "four and twenty letters," omitting J and U. This means that 
in his time and Bacon's J had not yet been differentiated from I, 
nor U from V, although O was coming in. U and J are modem 

'Fond. Foolish. 

" 'T is fond to wail inevitable strokes, 
As 't is to laugh at 'em." 

Shakgpere. Coriolanus. iv. i. 


that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate ^ 
will beware, by furthering any present business, 
how he dasheth upon other inconvenience. And 
therefore rest not upon scattered counsels; they 
will rather distract and mislead, than settle and 

After _thf sp t'^" nnhlA frjajt s of friendship, (E gace 
i n the affections, and support of the .iudgmen t;)jol-^ 
loweth the last fruit ; which is like the pomegranate, 
full of many kernels ; I mean aid and bearing a 
part in all actions a nd occasions . , Here the best 
way to represent to life the manifold use of friend- 
ship, is to cast and see how many things there are 
which a man cannot do himself ; and t hen it will 
ap pear that it was a sparing speech of the anpipntg^ 
to say, fhat a friend is another himself: for that^ a 
friend is far more than himself.. Men have their 
time, and die many times in desire of some things 
which they principally take to heart ; the bestowing 
of a chUd, the finishing of a work, or the Kke. If a 
man h ave^ atrue friend^ he may re st almost secure 
that the care of those things will continue after ViiTn. 
So that a man hath, as it were, two Uves in his de- 
sires. A man hath a body, and that b ody is con- 
fined to a place ; b ut where friendship is, all offices 
ofjife are a,s it were p;ra,Titerl t.n liini ^.nd^his dapnty 
For he may exercise them by his friend. How 
many things are there which a man ca,TiTiot. with 
any face or comeliness, say or do him self ?*A man can 
scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less 

1 Estate. State or condition, 
'For that. Because, 


extol them ; ^ a man cannot sometimes brook to sup- 
plicate or beg ; and a number of the like. But aU 
these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which 
are blushing in a man's own. ^o again, a man's 
person hath many proper^ relations which he cannot 
put off, A man cannot speak to Ms son but as a 
father ; to his wife but as a husband ; to his enemy 
but upon terms : whereas j iJri erifi m a y p pe a k an tho 
ease requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. 
But to enumerate these things were endless ; I have 
given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his 
own part ; if he have not a f riend, J i&- jnay quit ^fehe^ 

^ "It is an abominable thing for a man to commend himself." 
Quoted in Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Vol. I. Ch. xxii., from 
Dr. Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter, Divine Art of Meditation. 

^ Proper. Peculiar. 

*'Aiid so, with great imagination, 
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death, 
And, winking, leap'd into destruction." 

Shakspere. II. King Henry lY. i. 3. 

^ In the last year -of Bacon's life, at the special request of his 
friend, Sir Tobie Matthew, he rewrote entirely the essay on Friend- 
skip, to commemorate their lifelong intimacy. Sir Tobie Matthew, 
1577—1655, courtier, diplomatist, and writer, was the son of Tobie, 
or Tobias, Matthew, Archbishop of York. Bacon and Matthew, who 
was the junior by sixteen years, became friends when Matthew en- 
tered Parliament, in 1601, and their affection knew no break 
through every variation of both their fortunes. Bacon held a high 
opinion of Matthew's literary judgment, and submitted his writings 
to him for criticism from time to time, among other pieces his book, 
De Sapientia Yeterum, with an accompanying letter, dated Feb. 17, 

In 1618, Matthew, who had lived in Italy, and had there become 
a Roman Catholic, published in London an Italian translation of the 
Essays, entitled, Saggi Morali del Signore Francesco Bacono, Cava- 
liero inglese, gran cancelliero d'Inghelterra, con un* altro suo Trat- 
tato delta Sapienza degli Antichi. 

A dedicatory letter to Cosimo dei Medici II., Grand Duke of 
Tuscany, eulogizes Sir Francis Bacon, praising him not only for 
the qualities of his intellect, but also for those of the heart and 
will, and moral understanding: "being a .man most sweet in his 
conversation and ways, grave in his judgment, invariable in his for- 
tunes, splendid in his expenses; a friend unalterable to his friends; 


XXVIII. Of Expense. 

Riches are for spending, and spending for honour 
and good actions. Therefore extraordinary expense 
must be limited by the worth of the occasion ; for 
voluntary undoing may be as well for a man's 
country as for the kingdom of heaven. But ordi- 
nary expense ought to be limited by a man's estate ; 
and governed with such regard, as^ it be within his 
compass; and not subject to deceit and abuse of 
servants ; and ordered to the best shew, that the 
bills may be less than the estimation abroad. Cer- 
tainly, if a man will keep^ but of even hand, his 
ordinary expenses ought to be but to the half of 
his receipts ; and if he think to wax rich, but to the 
third part. It is no baseness for the greatest to 
descend and look into their own estate. Some for- 
bear it, not upon negligence alone, but doubting^ 

an enemy to no man; a most hearty and indefatigable servant to 
the King, and a most earnest lover of the Public, — having all 
the thoughts of that large heart of his set upon adorning the age 
in which he lives, and benefiting as far as possible the vrhole human 

When Bacon was impeached, Matthew was of the few who re- 
mained faithful to him. He wrote a letter to his old friend, in his 
disgrace and downfall, which Bacon compared to 'old gold.' 

The episode is the most pleasing personal one in Bacon's life, 
and should be remembered to his credit in any judgment of the 
baseness of his conduct towards Essex. 

1 As. That. 

^ Keep but of even hand. Balance his expenses carefully. 

^Douht. To fear, be afraid {that something uncertain will take 
or has taken place); to suspect. 

"Doubt thou the stars are fire; 
Doubt that the Sun doth move; 
Doubt truth to be a liar; 
But never ^oubt I love." 

Samlet, ii, g. 


to bring tkemselves into melancholy, in respect^ 
they shaU find it broken. But wounds cannot be 
cured without searching. He that cannot look into 
his own estate at all, had need both choose well 
those whom he employeth, and change them often ; 
for new are more timorous and less subtle. He 
that can look into his estate but seldom, it behoveth 
him to turn all to certainties. A man had need, 
if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as 
saving again in some other. As if he be plentiful 
in diet, to be saving in apparel ; if he be plentiful 
in the hall, to be saving in the stable ; and the like. 
For he that is plentiful in expenses of aU kinds wiU 
hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing of a 
man's estate, he may as well hurt himself in being 
too sudden, as letting it run on too long. For 
hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable^ as 
interest. Besides, he that clears at once will re- 
lapse ; for finding himself out of straits, he wiU re- 
vert to his customs : but he that cleareth by de- 
grees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as 
well upon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, 
who^ hath a state to repair, may not despise small 
things ; and commonly it is less dishonourable to 
abridge petty charges, than to stoop to petty get- 
tings. A man ought warily to begin charges which 
once begun will continue: but in matters that 
return not he may be more magnificent. 

^ Respect. Relation, regard, case. 
2 Disadvantageable. Disadvantageous. 
^ Who. Se who. 

"I dare do all tliat may become a man; 
Who dares do more, is none." 

Shakspere. Macbeth, i. 7. 


XXIX. Of the True Greatness op Kingdoms 
AND Estates. 

The speech of Themistoeles the Athenian, which 
was haughty and arrogant in taking so much to him- 
self, had been a grave and wise observation and 
censure, applied at large to others. Desired at a 
feast to touch a lute, he said. He could not fiddle, hut 
yet he could make, a small town a great city} These 
words (holpen a little with a metaphor) may express 
two differing abilities in those that deal in business 
of estate. For if a true survey be taken of coun- 
sellors and statesmen, there may be found (though 
rarely) those which can make a small state great, 
and yet cannot fiddle : as on the other side, there 
will be found a great many that can fiddle very cun- 
ningly ,2 but yet are so far from being able to make 
a small state great, as^ their gift lieth the other way ; 
to bring a great and fiourishing estate to ruin and 
decay. And, certainly those degenerate arts and 
shifts, whereby many counsellors and governors 
gain both favour with their masters and estimation 
with the vulgar, deserve no better name than fid- 
dling ; being things rather pleasing for the time, and 
graceful to themselves only, than tending to the 

^ Bacon quotes from Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, or the Life 
of Cimon, where Themistocles's haughty speech is repeated. He 
makes the same quotation in the Advatice'ment of Learning, Y. I. 
Hi, 8. 

2 Cunningly, Skilfully. Compare Psalms cxzxvii. 5 : "If I for- 
get thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning," i.e. 
her skiU, 

= As. That. 


weal aud advancement of the state whicli they serve. 
There are also (no doubt) counsellors and governors 
which may be held sufficient (negotris pares), ^ able to 
manage affairs, and to keep them from precipices 
and manifest inconveniences; which nevertheless 
are far from the ability to raise and amplify an es- 
tate in power, means, and fortune. But be the 
workmen what they may be, let us speak of the work ; 
that is, the true Greatness of Eangdoms and Estates, 
and the means thereof. An argument ^ fit for great 
and mighty princes to have in their hand ; to the 
end that neither by over-measuring their forces, they 
leese themselves in vain enterprises ; nor on the other 
side, by undervaluing them, they descend to fearful 
and pusillanimous counsels. 

The greatness of an estate in bulk and territory, 
doth fall under measure ; and the greatness of fi- 
nances and revenew doth fall under computation. 
The population may appear by musters ; and the 
number and greatness of cities and towns by cards 
and maps. But yet there is not any thing amongst 
civil affairs more subject to error, than the right 
valuation aud true judgment concerning the power 
and forces of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is 
compared, not to any great kernel or nut, but to a 
grain of mustard-seed ; which is one of the least 
grains, but hath in it a property and spirit hastily 
to get up and spread.^ So are there states great in 

^ Negotiis pares, equal to negotiations, or, as Bacon translates, 
'able to manage affairs.' 

^Argument. Subject, theme. "It would be argument for a week, 
laughter for a month, and a good jest foroTer." Shakspere. I. King 
Henry JV. ii. 2. 

= Mark iv. 30, 31, 32. 


territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or command ; 
and some that have but a small dimension of stem, 
and yet apt ^ to be the foundations of great mon- 

Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories, 
goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, 
ordnance, artillery, and the like; aU this is but a 
sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposi- 
tion of the people be stout and warlike. Nay, num- 
ber (itself) in armies importeth not much, where the 
people is of weak courage ; for (as Virgil saith) It 
never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be? The 
army of the Persians in the plains of Arbela was 
such a vast sea of people, as it did somewhat astonish 
the commanders in Alexander's army ; who came to 
him therefore, and wished him to set upon them by 
night ; but he answered, Se would not pilfer the vic- 
tory. And the defeat was easy. When Tigranes * 
the Armenian, being encamped upon a hill with four 
hundred thousand men, discovered the army of the 
Romans, being not above fourteen thousand, march- 
ing towards him, he made himself merry with it, 
and said. Yonder men are too many for an ambassage, 
and too few for a fight.* But before the sun set, he 
found them enow ^ to give him the chase with infinite 
slaughter. Many are the examples of the great odds 
between number and courage : so that a man may 

^ Apt. Suited, fitted. 

'Ecloga VII. SB. 

2 Tigranes, died 55(f) B.C., King of Armenia, son-in-law of 
Mithridates the Great. 

* Quoted from Plutarch's Life of Lucius Licinius LucuU/ue, consul 
74 B.C., and conqueror of Mithridates and Tigranes. 

'Enow. Old plural of enough. "Take with you enow of men." 
Scott. Ivanhoe. XXXII. 


truly make a judgment, that the principal point of 
greatness in any state is to have a race of military 
men. Neither is money the sinews ^ of war (as it is 
trivially said,) where the sinews of men's arms, in 
base and effeminate people, are failing. For Solon ^ 
said well to Croesus ^ (when in ostentation he shewed 
him his gold), Sir, if any other come that hath better 
iron than you, he mil he master of all this gold} There- 
fore let any prince or state think soberly of his 
forces, except his militia of natives be of good and 
valiant soldiers. And let princes, on the other side, 
that have subjects of martial disposition, know their 
own strength ; unless they be otherwise wanting unto 
themselves. As for mercenary forces (which is the 
help in this case), all examples show that whatso- 
ever estate or prince doth rest upon them, he may 
spread his feathers for a time, but he will mew ^ them 
soon after. 

The blessing of Judah and Issachar will never 
meet ; that the same people or nation should he both 
the lion's whelp ^ and the ass between burthens; '' neither 

^ Money the sinews of war. Aeschines attributes this metaphor to 
Demosthenes. But Cicero, in his fifth Philippic against Antony, 
(M. T-ullii Cieeronis in M. Antonium Oratio Philippica Quinta. I. 5), 
uses the expression nervos belli, pecuniam infinitam. 

"Though old the thought. 

And oft exprest, 
'T is his at last 

Who says it best." 

2 Solon, 638(?)-559(?) B.C., Athenian lawgiver. 

' Croesus became King of Lydia in 560 B.C., and was defeated 
and taken prisoner by Cyrus, King of Persia, in 546 B.C. 

* Lucia/n. Charon. 

^Mew. To shed the feathers; to moult. 

' "Judah is a lion's whelp." Genesis xlix. B. - j, ' ' 

' "Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two bur- 
dens." Genesis xlix. 9. _ \ i ' , 


will it be, that a people overlaid with taxes should 
ever become valiant and martial. It is true that 
taxes levied by consent of the estate do abate men's 
courage less : as it hath been seen notably in the 
excises of the Low Countries ; and, in some degree, 
in the subsidies of England. For you must note 
that we speak now of the heart and not of the purse. 
So that although the same tribute and tax, laid by 
consent or by imposing, be all one to the purse, yet 
it works diversly ^ upon the courage. So that you 
may conclude, that no people over-charged with tribute 
is Jit for empire. 

Let states that aim at greatness, take heed how 
their nobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast. 
For that maketh the common subject grow to be a 
peasant and base swain, driven out of heart, and in 
effect but the gentleman's labourer. Even as you 
may see in coppice woods ; if you leave your staddles ^ 
too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, 
but shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the gen- 
tlemen be too many, the commons will be base ; and 
you will bring it to that, that not the hundred ^ poll 
will be fit for an helmet ; especially as to the infan- 
try, which is the nerve of an army ; and so there will 
be great population and little strength. This which 
I speak of hath been no where better seen than by 
comparing of England and France ; whereof Eng- 
land, though far less in territory and population, 

^Diversly. Differently, diversely, of which 'diversly' was a com- 
mon spelling before 1700. 

2 Staddle. A young tree left standing when the underwood is 
cut down. 

^ Hundred, used as an ordinal, hundredth, as still in composite 
numbers, — ^for example, hundred and tenth. 


hatli been (nevertheless) an over-match ; in regard ^ 
the middle people of England make good soldiers, 
which the peasants of France do not. And herein 
the device of king Henry the Seventh (whereof I 
have spoken largely in the history of his life) was 
profound and admirable; in making farms and 
houses of husbandry of a standard ; that is, main- 
tained with such a proportion of land unto them, as 
may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty and 
no servile condition ; and to keep the plough in the 
hands of the owners, and not mere hirelings.^ And 
thus indeed you shall attain to Virgil's character 
which he gives to ancient Italy : 

Terra potens armis atque ubere glebEe:^ 

Neither is that state (which, for any thing I know, is 
almost peculiar to England, and hardly to be found 
any where else, except it be perhaps in Poland) to 
be passed over ; I mean the state * of free servants 
and attendants upon noblemen and gentlemen; 

^ In regard. Since ; because. 

"Charles,' and tlie rest, it is enacted thus: 
That, in regard King Henry gives consent, 

You shall become true liegemen to his crown." 

Shakspere. I. King Henry YI. v. 4. 

"1 cannot say I ever saw an adder, in regard there are none in 
these parts." Scott. The Pirate. XXYIII. 

2 The importance to a state of maintaining a free and contented 
agricultural class was a subject much considered by Bacon. Be- 
sides the discussion of it in his History of Henry Til, the Journal 
of the House of Commons records that Bacon's first speech in the 
ninth Parliament of Elizabeth, which met October 24, 1597, was on 
a motion he had himself made, "against depopulation of towns and 
houses of husbandry, and for the maintenance of husbandry and 

* Land powerful in arms and in fertility of soil. Vergil. Aenei- 
do8 Liber I. 531. 

* State. Class or order. 


which are no ways inferior unto the yeomanry for 
arms. And therefore out of all question, the splen- 
dour and magnificence and great retinues and hos- 
pitality of noblemen and gentlemen, received into 
custom, doth much conduce unto martial greatness. 
Whereas, contrariwise, the close and reserved living 
of noblemen and gentlemen causeth a penury of 
military forces. 

By all means it is to be procured,^ that the trunk 
of Nebuchadnezzar's tree^ of monarchy be great 
enough to bear the branches and the boughs ; that 
is, that the natural subjects of the crown or state 
bear a sufficient proportion to the stranger subjects 
that they govern. Therefore all states that are 
liberal of naturalization towards strangers are fit 
for empire. For to think that an handful of people 
can, with the greatest courage and policy in the 
world, embrace too large extent of dominion, it may 
hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly. The Spar- 
tans were a nice^ people in point of naturalization ; 
whereby, while they kept their compass, they stood 
firm ; but when they did spread, and their boughs 
were becomen too great for their stem, they became 
a windfall upon the sudden. Never any state was 
in this point so open to receive strangers into their 
body as were the Romans. Therefore it sorted with 
them accordingly; for they grew to the greatest 
monarchy. Their manner was to grant naturalisa- 

" Procure. To bring about by care and pains. 

"Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall." 

Shakspere. The Oomei/y of Errors, i, 1. 

' Daniel iv. 10, and following. 

■ Nice. Discriminating, particular. 


tion (which they oaRed jus civitatis),^ and to grant it 
in the highest degree ; that is, not only jus com- 
mercii, jus connubii, jus hcereditalis ; but also jus 
suffragii, and. jus honorum? And this not to singular'* 
persons alone, but likewise to whole families ; yea 
to cities, and sometimes to nations. Add to this 
their custom of plantation of colonies ; whereby the 
Roman plant was removed into the soil of other 
nations. And putting both constitutions together, 
you will say that it was not the Romans that spread 
upon the world, -but it was the world that spread 
upon the Romans ; and that was the sure way of 
greatness. I have marvelled sometimes at Spain, 
how they clasp and contain so large dominions with 
so few natural Spaniards ; but sure the whole com- 
pass of Spain is a very great body of a tree ; far 
above Rome and Sparta at the first. And besides, 
though they have not had that usage to naturalise 
liberally, yet they have that which is next to it ; 
that is, to employ almost indifferently all nations in 
their militia of ordinary soldiers ; yea and some- 
times in their highest commands. Nay it seemeth 
at this instant they are sensible of this want of na- 
tives ; as by the Pragmatical Sanction,* now pub- 
lished, appeareth. 

It is certain, that sedentary and within-door arts, 
and delicate manufactures (that require rather the 

> Right of citizenship. 

^ Right of trade, right of marriage, right of inheritance ; right of 
suflfrage, and right of honors, that is, 'right of holding office.' 

^ Singular. Single. 

*In 1622, Philip IV., 1605-1665, King of Spain, 1621-1665, 
issued a royal decree, or pragmdtica, which granted certain privi- 
leges to those who married and established certain immunities for 
the parents of six children or more. 


finger than the arm), have in their nature a con- 
trariety to a military disposition. And generally, 
all warlike people are a little idle, and love danger 
better than travaO.^ Neither must they be too much 
broken of it, if they shall be preserved in vigour. 
Therefore it was great advantage in the ancient 
states of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others, that they 
had the use of slaves, which commonly did rid^ 
those manufactures. But that is abolished, in 
greatest part, by the Christian law. That which 
cometh nearest to it, is to leave those arts chiefly to 
strangers (which for that purpose are the more easily 
to be received), and to contain the principal bulk of 
the vulgar natives within those three kinds,— tillers 
of the ground ; free servants ; and handicraftsmen 
of strong and manly arts, as smiths, masons, car- 
penters, &c. : not reckoning professed soldiers. 

But above all, for empire and greatness, it import- 
eth most, that a nation do profess arms as their 
principal honour, study, and occupation. For the 
things which we formerly have spoken of are but 
habilitations towards arms; and what is habilita- 
tion^ without intention and act ? Romulus,* after his 

^Travail. Labor, worJc. "Neither did we eat any man's bread 
for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, 
that we might not be chargeable to any of you." //, Theaealonians 
Hi, S. 

^ Rid. To accomplish ; to dispatch ; to achieve. 

"We, having now the best at Barnet field, 
Will thither straight, for willingness rids way." 

ShaJcspere. III. King Henry YI. v. 3. 

* Hdbilitation. The action of enabling or endowing with ability 
or fitness; eapacitation ; qualification. 

* Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, in 753 B.C., and first 
King of Rome, 753-716 B.C. He was said to be the son of Mars 
and the vestal Rhea Silvia, and after his death he was worshipped 
as a divinity under the name Quirinus. 


death (as they report or feign), sent a present^ to the 
Romans, that above all they should intend^ arms ; 
and then they should prove the greatest empire of 
the world. The fabric of the state of Sparta was 
wholly (though not wisely) framed and composed to 
that scope and end. The Persians and Macedonians 
had it for a flash. The Gauls, Germans, Goths, 
Saxons, Normans, and others, had it for a time. 
The Turks have it at this day, though in great de- 
clination. Of Christian Europe, they that have it 
are, in effect, only the Spaniards. But it is so plain 
that every man profiteth in that he most intendeth, that 
it needeth not to be stood ^ upon. It is enough to 
point at it ; that no nation which doth not directly 
profess arms, may look to have greatness fall into 
their mouths. And on the other side, it is a most 
certain oracle of time, that those states that continue 
long in that profession (as the Romans and Turks 
principally have done) do wonders. And those that 
have professed arms but for an age, have notwith- 
standing commonly attained that greatness in that 
age which maintained them long after, when their 
profession and exercise of arms hath grown to 

Incident* to this point is, for a state to have those 
laws or customs which may reach forth unto them 

^Present. Any writ or writing; a mandate. 

"What present hast thou there?" 

Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost. iv. 3. 

^Intend. To direct the mind or attention to; to pay heed. 

^To stand upon. To dwell on; to linger over, as a subject of 
thought. "But since the authors of most of our sciences were the 
Komans, and before them the Greeks, let us a little stand upon their 
authorities." Sir Philip Sidney. The Defense of Poesie. p. 5. 

* Incident to. Relating or pertinent to. 


just occasions (as may be pretended) ^ of war. For 
there is that justice imprinted in the nature of men, 
that they enter not upon wars (whereof so many 
calamities do ensuej but upon some, at the least 
specious, grounds and quarrels. The Turk hath at 
hand, for cause of war, the propagation of his law 
or sect ; a quarrel that he may always command. 
The Romans, though they esteemed the extending 
the limits of their empire to be great honour to their 
generals when it was done, yet they never rested 
upon that alone to begin a war. First therefore, 
let nations that pretend to greatness have this ; that 
they be sensible of wrongs, either upon borderers, 
merchants, or politic ministers ; and that they sit 
not too long upon a provocation. Secondly, let 
them be prest^ and ready to give aids and succours 
to their confederates ; as it ever was with the 
Romans; insomuch, as if the confederates had 
leagues defensive with divers other states, and, up- 
on invasion offered, did implore their aids severally, 
yet the Romans would ever be the foremost, and 
leave it to none other to have the honour. As for 
the wars which were anciently made on the behalf 
of a kind of party, or tacit conformity of estate, I 

^ Pretend. To put forward as a reason or excuse ; to use as a 

"This let him know, 
Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend 
Surprisal, nnadmonisht, unforewarn'd." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. V. 2i3 — 245. 

'Prest. Beady, prompt, eager. 

*'And cursfed Dionyza hath 
The pregnant instrument of wrath 
Prest for this blow." 
Shakspere. Pericles, Prince of Tyre. iv. Prologue. 


do not see how they may be well justified : as when 
the Romans made a war for the liberty of Grsecia ; ^ 
or when the Lacedaemonians and Athenians made 
wars to set up or pull down democracies and oH- 
garchies ; or when wars were made by foreigners, 
under the pretence of justice or protection, to de- 
Uver the subjects of others from tyranny and op- 
pression ; and the like. Let it suffice, that no estate 
expect to be great, that is not awake upon any just 
occasion of arming. 

No body can be healthful without exercise, neither 
natural body nor poUtic; and certainly to a king- 
dom or estate, a just and honourable war is the true 
exercise. A civil war indeed is like the heat of a 
fever ; but a foreign war is like the heat of exercise, 
and serveth to keep the body in health ; for in a sloth- 
ful peace, both courages will effeminate and man- 
ners corrupt. But howsoever it be for happiness, 
without all question, for greatness it maketh, to be 
stni for the most part in arms ; and the strength of a 
veteran army (though it be a chargeable business) 
always on foot, is that which commonly giveth the 
law, or at least the reputation, amongst all neighbour 
states ; as may well be seen in Spain, which hath 
had, in one part or other, a veteran army almost 
continually, now by^ the space of six score years. 

To be master of the sea is an abridgment of a 
monarchy. Cicero, writing to Atticus^ of Pompey 

^ Graeeia. Greece. 

^ By. During. "Therefore watcli, and remember, that hy the 
space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day 
with tears." Acts xx. 31. 

^ Titus Pomponius Atticus, 109 — 32 B.C., a Roman scholar and 
bookseller who was the friend and correspondent of Cicero. 


his preparation against Caesar, saitli Consilium Pom- 
peii plane Themistocleum est; putat enim, qui mari 
potitur, eum rerum potiriJ And, without doubt, 
Pompey had tired out Caesar, if upon vain confi- 
dence he had not left that way. "We see the great 
effects of battles by sea. The battle of Aetium ^ 
decided the empire of the world. The battle of 
Lepanto^ arrested the greatness of the Turk. 
There may be examples where sea-fights have been 
final to the war ; but this is when princes or states 
have set up their rest upon the battles. But thus 
much is certain, that he that commands the sea, is 
at great hberty, and may take as much and as little 
of the war as he will. Whereas those that be 
strongest by land are many times nevertheless in 
great straits. Surely, at this day, with us of Europe, 
the vantage* of strength at sea (which is one of 
the principal dowries of this kingdom of Great 
Britain) is great; both because most of the king- 
doms of Europe are not merely inland, but girt 
with the sea most part of their compass ; and be- 
cause the wealth of both Indies seems in great part 
but an accessary to the command of the seas. 

1 Pompey's policy is plainly that of Themistocles ; for lie thinks 
that he who commands the sea, commands all. Bacon quotes Cicero 
freely as he was wont. Cicero wrote: "nisi forte. Us amissis, arma 
Pompeiu-m abiecturtim putas, cuius omne consilium Themistocleum 
est : existimat enim, qui mare teneat, eum necesse esse reruin 
•tiotiri/' M. Tullii Ciceronis Epistolae ad Atticum Liber X. viii. 4. 

2 The battle of Aetium was fought September 2, 31 B.C., off the 
prtimontory of Aetium, Greece, between Octavius on the one side 
and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. Octavius won and Egypt 
became the first province of the Roman empire. 

^ The battle of Lepanto was a great naval victory, October 7, 
1571, won by the Italian and Spanish fleets under Don John of 
Austria, over the Turks. It took place in the Ionian Sea, off the 
coast of Lepanto, in Aetolia, Greece. 

* Vantage. Advantaye. 


The wars of latter ages seem to be made in the 
dark, in respect of the glory and honour which re- 
flecteduponmen from the wars in ancient time. There 
be now, for martial encouragement, some degrees 
and orders of chivalry; which nevertheless are 
conferred promiscuously upon soldiers and no sol- 
diers; and some remembrance perhaps upon the 
scutcheon ; and some hospitals for maimed soldiers j 
and such like things. But in ancient times, the 
trophies erected upon the place of the victory ; the 
funeral laudatives^ and monuments for those that 
died in the wars ; the crowns and garlands personal ; 
the style of Emperor, which the great kings of the 
world after borrowed ; the triumphs of the generals 
upon their return ; the great donatives and largesses 
upon the disbanding of the armies; were things 
able to inflame aU men's courages. But above aU, 
that of the Ti-iumph, amongst the Romans, was 
not pageants or gaudery,^ but one of the wisest and 
noblest institutions that ever was. For it contained 
three things : honour to the general ; riches to the 
treasury out of the spoils ; and donatives to the 
army. But that honour perhaps were not fit for 
monarchies; except it be in the person of the 
monarch himself, or his sons ; as it came to pass 
in the times of the Roman emperors, who did im- 
propriate* the actual triumphs to themselves and 
their sons, for such wars as they did achieve in 
person ; and left only, for wars achieved by sub- 

^ Laudatives. Eulogies, panegyrics, 
' Gauiery. Ostentatious show. 
^ Impropriate. Appropriate. 


jects, some triumphal garments and ensigns to the 

To conclude : no man can by care taking (as the 
Scripture saith) add a cubit to Ms stature,'^ in this 
little model of a man's body; but in the great 
frame of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the 
power of princes or estates to add amplitude and 
greatness to their kingdoms ; for by introducing 
such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we 
have now touched,^ they may sow greatness to their 
posterity and succession. But these things are 
commonly not observed, but left to take their 

XXX. Of Regiment^ of Health. 

There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of 
physic : a man's own observation, what he finds good 
of,* and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to 
preserve health. But it is a safer conclusion to say, 
This agreeth not well with me, therefore I will not con- 

' "Whicli of yon by taking thouglit can add one cubit unto his 
stature?" Matthew vi. 27, 
^ Touch. To treat lightly. 

"Whereat we glanced from theme to theme, 
Discuss'd the books to love or hate, 
Or touch'd, the changes of the state. 
Or threaded some Socratic dream." 

Tennyson. In Memoriam. Ixxxix. 

^ Regiment or regimen. Rule of diet or mode of living, common 
in this phrase 'regimen of health.' 

* Of. After an adjective, in respect of, in the matter of, in point 
of, in. Now literary, and somewhat archaic, except in particular 
phrases, as 'blind of one eye.* 


tinueit; than this, I find no offence^ of this, therefore 
I may use it. For strength of nature in youth 
passeth over many excesses, which are owing a man 
till his age. Discern of the coming on of years, 
and think not to do the same things still ; for age 
wOl not be defied. Beware of sudden change in 
any great point of diet, and if necessity inforee it, 
fit the rest to it. For it is a secret both in nature 
and state, that it is the safer to change many 
things than one. Examine thy customs of diet, 
sleep, exercise, apparel, and the like ; and try, in 
any thing thou shalt judge hurtful, to discontinue 
it by little and little ; but so, as if thou dost find 
any inconvenience by the change, thou come back 
to it again : for it is hard to distinguish that which 
is generally held good and wholesome, from that 
which is good particularly, and fit for thine own 
body. To be free-minded and cheerfully disposed 
at hours of meat^ and of sleep and of exercise, is one 
of the best precepts of long lasting. As for the 
passions and studies of the mind; avoid envy; 
anxious fears ; anger fretting inwards ; subtle and 
knotty inquisitions; joys and exhUara-tions 
in excess; sadness not communicated. Enter- 
tain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of 
delights, rather than surfeit of them ; wonder and 

' Offence. Harm, injury, damage. 

" 'T is better that the enemy seek ns: 
So shall he waste his means, weary his soldiers, 
Doing him offence." 

Shakspere. Julius Caesar, iv. 3. 

' Meat. Food, meals. "She riseth also while it is yet night, and 
giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens." Pro- 
verbs xxxi. 15. 


admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that 
fill the mind with splendid and Ulustrious objects, 
as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature. 
If you fly physic in health altogether, it wiU be too 
strange for your body when you shaU. need it. If 
you make it too familiar, it will work no extraordi- 
nary effect when sickness cometh. I commend^ 
rather some diet for certain seasons, than frequent 
use of physic, except it be grown into a custom. 
For those diets alter the body more, and trouble it 
less. Despise no new accident in your body, but 
ask opinion of it. In sickness, respect^ health 
principally ; and in health, action. For those that 
put their bodies to endure in health, may in most 
sicknesses, which are not very sharp, be cured only 
with diet and tendering.* Celsus* coidd never 
have spoken it as a physician, had he not been a 
wise man withal, when he giveth it for one of tl^e 
great precepts of health and lasting, that a man do 
vary and interchange contraries, but with an incli- 
nation to the more benign extreme : use fasting and 
full eating but rather full eating; watching and 
sleep, but rather sleep ; sitting, and exercise, but 
rather exercise ; and the like. So shall nature be 

^ Commend. Recommend. 

'^Respect. To have regard to; to care for; to heed or consider, 

"There is no terror, Oassius, in your threats; 
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty, 
That they pass by me as the idle wind, 
Which I respect not." 

ShaJcspere. Julius Caesar, iv. 3. 
^ Tendering. Cherishing, care. 

*Aulus (or Aurelius) Cornelius Celsus, a Roman writer of the 
first half of the first century a.d. He wrote an encyclopedia, of 
which only De Medicina (Books 6—13) has come down to us. The 
quotation is from A. Cornelii Celsi De Medicina Liber I. Caput 1. 


cherislied, and yet taught masteries. Physicians are 
some of them so pleasing and conformable to the 
humour of the patient, as they press not the true 
cure of the disease ; and some other are so regular 
in proceeding according to art for the disease, as 
they respect not sufficiently the condition of the 
patient. Take one of the middle temper; or if 
it may not be found in one man, combine two of 
either^ sort ; and forget not to call as well the best 
acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of 
for his faculty. 

XXXI. Of Suspicion. 

Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats 
amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly 
they are to be repressed, or at the least well guarded : 
for they cloud the mind ; they leese ^ friends ; and 
they check ^ with business, whereby business can- 
not go on currently * and constantly. They dispose 
kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to 
irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not 
in the heart, but in the brain ; for they take place 
in the stoutest ^ natures ; as in the example of Henry 
the Seventh of England. There was not a more 

^Either. Each (of two.) "There was a liu£e fire-place at eitlier 
end of the hall." Scott. Ivanhoe, III, 
2 Leese. Lose, 

' Check. IntransitiTe, to clash or interfere. 
* Currently. In the manner of a flowing stream, smoothly. 
'Stout. Proud, stubborn. 


suspicious man, nor a more stout. And in such a 
composition 1 they do small hurt. For commonly 
they are not admitted, but with examination, 
whether they be likely or no ? But in fearful na- 
tures they gain ground too fast. There is nothing 
makes a man suspect much, more than to know little ; 
and therefore men should remedy suspicion by pro- 
curing to know more, and not to keep their sus- 
picions in smother. What would men have ? Do 
they think those they employ and deal with are 
saints ? Do they not think they wiU have their own 
ends, and be truer to themselves than to them? 
Therefore there is no better way to moderate sus- 
picions, than to account upon such suspicions as true 
and yet to bridle them as false. For so far a man 
ought to make use of suspicions, as to provide, as if 
that should be true that he suspects, yet it may do 
him no hurt. Suspicions that the mind of itself 
gathers are but buzzes ; ^ but suspicions that are 
artificially nourished, and put into men's heads 
by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings. 
Certainly, the best mean to clear the way in this 
same wood of suspicions, is frankly to communicate 
them with the party that he suspects ; for thereby 

* Composition. Mental constitution, or constitution of mind and 
body combined. 

"O, how that name befits my composition f 
Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old." 

Shakspere. King Bichard II. ii. 1. 

2 Buzz. A rumor or report. 

"That, on every dream, 
Each huz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike. 
He may enguard his dotage with their powers, 
And hold our lives in mercy." 

Shakspere. King Lear. i. 4. 


lie shall be sure to know more of the truth of them 
than he did before ; and withal shall make that party 
more circumspect not to give further cause of sus- 
picion. But this would ^ not be done to men of base 
natures ; for they, if they find themselves once sus- 
pected, will never be true. The Italian says, Sospeito 
licentia fede; ^ as if suspicion did give a passport to 
faith ; but it ought rather to kindle it to discharge 

XXXII. Of Discourse. 

Some in their discourse desire rather commenda- 
tion of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than 
of judgment, in discerning what is true ; as if it were 
a praise to know what might be said, and not what 
should be thought. Some have certain common 
places and themes wherein they are good, and want 
variety ; which kind of poverty is for the most part 
tedious, and when it is once perceived, ridiculous. 
The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion ; 
and again to moderate and pass to somewhat else ; 
for then a man leads the dance. It is good, in dis- 
course and speech of conversation, to vary and 
intermingle speech of the present occasion with argu- 
ments, tales with reasons, asking of questions with 
telling of opinions, and jest with earnest : for it is 

^ Would for should, as frequently in Elizabethan English. 
2 Suspicion gives license to faitUessness, that is, justifies break- 
ing faith. 


a duU thing to tire, and, as we say now, to jade,^ 
any thing too far. As for jest, there be certain 
things which ought to be privileged from it ; namely, 
religion, matters of state, great persons, any man's 
present business of importance, and any case that 
deserveth pity. Yet there be some that think their 
wits have been asleep, except they dart out some- 
what that is piquant, and to the quick. That is a 
vein which would be bridled ; 

Parce, puer, stimulis, et fortius utere loris.^ 

And generally, men ought to find the difference be- 
tween saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that 
hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of 
his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory. 
He that questioneth much, shaU learn much, and 
content much ; but especially if he apply his ques- 
tions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh ; 
for he shall give them occasion to please themselves 
in speaking, and himself shall contiaually gather 
knowledge. But let his questions not be trouble- 
some ; for that is fit for a poser.^ And let him be 
sure to leave other men their turns to speak. Nay, 
if there be any that would reign and take up all the 
time, let him find means to take them off, and to 
bring others on ; as musicians use to do .with those 
that dance too long galliards.* If you dissemble 

^ Jade. To tnake a jade, or hacTc, of a horse ; to exhaust or wear 
out by driving or working too hard; to fatigue or weary. 

2 Boy, spare the whip, and more firmly hold the reins. P. Ovidii 
Nasonis Metamorphoseon Liber II. 126; the story of Phaethon. 

^ Poser. Examiner. 

* Galliard. A spirited dance for two dancers only, common in 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 


sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought 
to know, you shall be thought another time to know 
that you know not. Speech of a man's self ought 
to be seldom, and well chosen. I knew one was 
wont to say in scorn, He must needs he a mse man, 
he speaks so much of himself: and there is but one 
case wherein a man may commend himself with good 
grace ; and that is in commending virtue in another ; 
especially if it be such a virtue whereunto himself 
pretendeth. Speech of touch ^ towards others should 
be sparingly used ; for discourse ought to be as a 
field, without coming home to any man. I knew two 
noblemen, of the west part of England, whereof the 
one was given to scoff, but kept ever royal cheer in 
his house ; the other would ask of those that had 
been at the other's table. Tell truly, was there never 
a flout^ or dry Wow given ? To which the guest 
would answer, Such and such a thing passed. The 
lord would say, I thought he would mar a good dinner. 
Discretion of speech is more than eloquence ; and to 
speak agreeably to him with whom we deal, is more 
than to speak in good words or in good order. A 
good continued speech, without a good speech of 
interlocution, shews slowness ; and a good reply or 
second speech, without a good settled speech, sheweth 
shallowness and weakness. As we see in beasts, 
that those that are weakest in the course, are yet 
nimblest in the turn ; as it is betwixt the greyhound 

^ Speech of touch. Personalities in conversation. 
^ Flout. A mocking speech or action ; jeer. 

"And wherefore wail for one 
Who put your beauty to this flout and scorn 
By dressing it in rags!" 

Tennyson. Geraint and Enid. 


and the hare. To use too many circumstances ere 
one come to the matter, is wearisome ; to use none 
at all, is blunt. 

XXXIII. Of Plantations.1 

Plantations are amongst ancient, primitive, and 
heroical works. When the world was young it begat 
more children ; but now it is old it begets fewer : 
for I may justly account new plantations to be the 
children of former kingdoms. I like a plantation ^ 
in a pure soil ; that is, where people are not dis- 
planted ^ to the end to plant in others. For else it 
is rather an extirpation than a plantation. Plant- 
ing of countries is like planting of woods ; for you 
must make account to leese almost twenty years 

^ This Essay seems to have been carefully translated ; and re- 
vised in the translation, probably by Bacon himself. S. 

Bacon was personally interested in colonization. Sir Walter Ka- 
legh's scheme of planting a colony in Virginia having failed, 1586, 
the London or South Virginia Company for the Colonization of Vir- 
ginia was chartered by King James, May 23, 1609, with larger 
powers and privileges. Among the new 'adventurers' were Sir 
Francis Bacon, his cousin, the Earl of Salisbury, with Captain John 
Smith, and others. At about the same time Bacon warmly advo- 
cated the 'Irish plantations,' that is, the policy of King James's 
government which led to the settlement of English and Scottish 
Protestants in the County of Ulster. 

2 Plantation. An original settlement in a new country ; a colony. 
The official name of Rhode Island is 'The State of Rhode Island 
and Providence Plantations.' 

3 Dieplant. To undo the settlement or establishment of a planta- 
tion or colony. 

"Hang up philosophy 1 
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet, 
Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom. 
It helps not, it prevails not: talk no more." 

Shakspere. Romeo and Juliet. Hi. 3. 


profit, and e xpec t your recompense in the end. For 
the principal thing that hath been the destruction 
of most plantations, hath been the base and hasty 
drawing of profit in the first years. It is true, 
speedy profit is not to be neglected, as far as may 
stand ^ with the good of the plantation, but no fur- 
ther. It is a shameful and unblessed thing to take 
the scum of people, and wicked condemned men, to 
be the people with whom you plant ; and not only 
so, but it spoUeth the plantation ; for they wiU ever 
live like rogues, and not fall to work, but be lazy, 
and do mischief, and spend victuals, and be quickly 
weary, and then certify over to their country to the 
discredit of the plantation. The people wherewith 
you plant ought to be gardeners, ploughmen, la- 
bourers, smiths, carpenters, joiners, fishermen, fowl- 
ers, with some few apothecaries, surgeons, cooks, 
and bakers. In a country of plantation, first look 
about what kind of victual^ the country yields of 
itself to hand; as chestnuts, walnuts, pineapples, 
olives, dates, plums, cherries, wild honey, and the 
like; and make use of them. Then consider what 
victual or esculent^ thiligs there are, which grow 
speedily, and within the year ; as parsnips, carrots, 
turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Hierusalem,* 

^ To stand with. To be consistent with; to agree. 

- Victual. Provision of food; articles commonly used as food. 
Generally used in the plural as on this page elsewhere, and signify- 
ing (commonly) food for human beings, prepared for eating. 

^Esculent. Good for food; eatable. Specifically, an 'esculent' is 
an edible vegetable, and especially one that may be used as a condi- 
ment or relish without cooking, like lettuce or radishes. 

* Artichokes of Hierusalem. This vegetable is not an artichoke, 
and its name has nothing to do with Jerusalem. It is a plant with 
an edible root resembling the artichoke, which was introduced into 
JIurope from South America about 1617, It is said to have been 


maize, and the like. For -wheat, barley, and oats, 
they ask too much labour ; but with pease ^ and beans 
you may begin, both because they ask less labour, 
and because they serve for meat as well as for bread. 
And of rice likewise cometh a great increase, and 
it is a kind of meat. Above all there ought to be 
brought store of biscuit, oat-meal, flour, meal, and 
the like, in the beginning, till bread may be had. 
For beasts, or birds, take chiefly such as are least 
subject to diseases, and multiply fastest ; as swine, 
goats, cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, house-doves,^ and 
the like. The victual in plantations ought to be ex- 
pended almost as in a besieged town ; that is, with 
certain allowance. And let the main part of the 
ground employed ^ to gardens or cotu, * be to ^ a 
common stock; and to be laid in, and stored up, 
and then delivered out in proportion ; besides some 
spots of ground that any particular person wiU 
manure for his own private.^ Consider likewise 
what commodities the soO. where the plantation is 

distributed from the Farnese garden, in Borne. There it was 
called girasole articioceo, which means 'sunflower artichoke.' 'Jerusa- 
lem' is an English corruption of girasole ('turning with the sun'). 

^ Pease. Archaic plural frotn the Middle English singular 'pese.' 
When the final e of 'pese' disappeared, the s of 'pes' (pease) was 
supposed to be the plural ending, and then the singular 'pe' (pea) 
was made to suit it. The singular 'pea' is a case of an error in 
English that has established itself in good usage. 

* House-dove. A dove kept in a dove-house. 

3 Employ. To apply (a thing) to some definite purpose ; followed 
by the prepositions for, in, on, and to. Archaic. 

* Corn. Grain. 

^ To. For. "His house is not quite a mile from this place; and 
if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to 
his son, whose name is Civility." John Bunyan. The Pilfjrim's 
Progress. III. 

^Private. Personal interest or use; particular business. "My 
lords, this strikes at every Soman's private," Ben Jonson, 
Sejanus his Fall, Hi. 1, 


doth naturally yield, that they may some way help 
to defray the charge of the plantation, (so it be not, 
as was said, to the untimely prejudice of the main 
business,) as it hath fared with tobacco in Virgitiia. 
Wood commonly aboundeth but too much; and 
therefore timber is fit to be one. If there be iron 
ore, and streams whereupon to set the miUs, iron is 
a brave ^ commodity where wood aboundeth. Mak- 
ing of bay-salt,^ if the climate be proper for it, 
would be put in experience.^ Growing sOt likewise, 
if any be, is a likely commodity. Pitch and tar, 
where store of firs and pines are, will not fail. So 
drugs and sweet woods, where they are, cannot but 
yield great profit. Soap-ashes likewise, and other 
things that may be thought of. But moil * not too 
much under ground ; for the hope of mines is very 
uncertain, and useth to make the planters lazy in 
other things. For government, let it be in the 
hands of one, assisted with some counsel; and let 
them have commission to exercise martial laws, with 
some limitation. And above all, let men make that 
profit of being in the wilderness, as they have God 
always, and his service, before their eyes. Let not 
the government of the plantation depend upon too 
many counsellors and undertakers ^ in the country 
that planteth, but upon a temperate number ; and 

^ Brave. Excellent, fine. "Think not on him till to-morrow: 1 '11 
devise thee brave punishments for him, — Strike up, pipers !" Shah- 
spere. Much Ado About Nothing, v. 4. 

'Bay-ealt. Salt obtained in large crystals by slow evaporation; 
originally, from sea-water by the sun's heat. 

^ To put in experience. To prove by actual trial, or by practical 

* Moil. To drudge, toil, labor. 

= Undertaker. One who 'undertakes' or engages to perform any 
business; a projector. 


let tliose be rather noblemen and gentlemen, than 
merchants ; for they look ever to the present gain. 
Let there be freedoms from custom,^ till the plan- 
tation be of strength ; and not only freedom from 
custom, but freedom to carry their commodities 
where they may make their best of them, except 
there be some special cause of caution. Cram not 
in people, by sending too fast company after com- 
pany ; but rather harken ^ how they waste, and send 
supplies proportionably ; but so as the number may 
live well in the plantation, and'not by surcharge be 
in penury. It hath been a great endangering to the 
health of some plantations, that they have built 
along the sea and rivers, in marish^ and unwhole- 
some grounds. Therefore, though you begin there, 
to avoid carriage and other like discommodities,* yet 
build stni rather upwards from the streams, than 
along. It concerneth likewise the health of the 
plantation that they have good store of salt with 
them, that they may use it in their victuals, when it 
shall be necessary. If you plant where savages are, 
do not only entertain them with trifles and gingles,^ 
but use them justly and graciously, with sufficient 

^ Custom. A tax levied by a king or sovereign authority upon 
merchandise in export or import; now levied only on imports from 
foreign countries. Rarely in singular in modern English. "Render 
therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom 
to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." 
Romans xiii. 7. 

"^Harken (hearken). To learn &y 'hearing*; to have regard to ; to 

"This King of Naples, being an enemy 
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit." 

Shakspere. The Tempest, i. 2, 

^ Marish. Marshy. 

* Discommodity. Disadvantage, inconvenience. 

^ Qingle, Old spelling of jingle, anything that ^ingle^^ 


guard nevertheless ; and do not win their favour by 
helping them to invade their enemies, hut for then- 
defence it is not amiss ; and send oft of them over 
to the country that plants, that they may see a 
better condition than their own, and commend it 
when they return. When the plantation grows to 
strength, then it is time to plant with women as well 
as with men ; that the plantation may spread into 
generations, and not be ever pieced from without. 
It is the sinf uUest thing in the world to forsake or 
destitute ^ a plantation once in forwardness ; for be- 
side the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of 
many commis_grable^ persons. 

XXXIV. Of Riches. 

I CANNOT call Riches better than the baggage of 
virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta.^ For 
as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue.* 
It cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth 
the march ; yea and the care of it sometimes loseth 
or disturbeth the victory. Of great riches there is 
no real use, except it be in the distribution; the 
rest is but conceit. So saith Salomon, Wliere much 
is, there are many to consume it; and what hath the 

'^ Destitute. To abandon; to leave to neglect. 

' Commiserable. Deserving commiseration or pity. 

^ Hindrances. 

* "But Satan now is wiser than of yore, 

And tempts by making rich, not making poor." 
Pope. Epistle III. To Allen, Lord Bathurst, U, ?5i-?Bg, 


owner hit the sight of it ivith his eyes f^ The personal 
fruition in any man cannot reach to feel great 
riches : there is a custody of them ; or a power of 
dole 2 and donative of them; or a fame of them; 
but no solid use to the owner. Do you not see 
what feigned prices are set upon little stones and 
rarities ? and what works of ostentation are under- 
taken, because there might seem to be some use of 
great riches ? But then you will say, they may be of 
use to buy men out of dangers or troubles. As 
Salomon saith. Riches are as a strong hold, in the 
imagination of the rich man? But this is excellently 
expressed, that it is in imagination, and not always 
in fact. For certainly great riches have sold more 
men than they have bought out. Seek not proud 
riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use 
soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly. 
Yet have no abstract nor friarly contempt of them. 
But distinguish, as Cicero saith well of Rabirius 
Posthumus, In studio rei amplificandce apparebat, 
non avaritim prcedam, sed instrumentum bonitati 
quceri} Hearken also to Salomon, and bewar© of 

^ "When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and 
what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of 
them with their eyes?" Ecclesiastefi v. 11. 

^ Dole. Dealing out or distribution of gifts. 

"Pleasures stinted m the dale." 

Browning. La Saisiaz. 431. 

" "The rich man's wealth is his strong city." Proverbs x. 15. 

*In his desire to increase his wealth, it appeared that he sought 
not the gratification of avarice, but the means of doing good 
(ut in auoenda re non avaritiae praedam, sed instrumentum boni- 
tati quaerere videretur. M. Tullii Ciceronis Pro C. Babirio Postnmo 
Oratio. II. S). 

In the year 54 B.C. Cicero defended Cains Rabirius Postumus, a 
Roman knight, who by helping Pompey to restore King Ptolemy 
Auletes to the throne of Egypt had laid himself open to the crime 
of extortioUt Bacon quotes inaccurately, Cicero makes the state- 

0¥ EICHES 161 

hasty gathering of riches ; Qui festinat ad divitias, 
non erit insons} The poets feign, that when Plutus 
(which is Riches) is sent from Jupiter, he limps and 
goes slowly; but when he is sent from Pluto, he 
runs and is swift of foot. Meaning that riches 
gotten by good means and just labour pace slowly ; 
but when they come by the death of others (as by 
the course of inheritance, testaments, and the like), 
they come tumbling upon a man. But it mought 
be applied likewise to Pluto, taking him for the 
devil. For when riches come from the devil (as by 
fraud and oppression and unjust means), they come 
upon^ speed. The ways to enrich are many, and 
most of them foul. Parsimony is one of the best, 
and yet is not innocent; for it withholdeth men 
from works of liberality and charity. The improve- 
ment of the ground is the most natural obtaining of 
riches; for it is our great mother's blessing, the 
earth's ; but it is slow. And yet where men of great 
wealth do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth riches 
exceedingly. I knew a nobleman in England, that 
had the greatest audits^ of any man in my time ; a 
great grazier, a great sheep- master, a great timber 
man, a great collier, a great corn-master, a great 
lead-man, and so of iron, and a number of the like 
points of husbandry. So as the earth seemed a sea 
to him, in respect of the perpetual importation. It 

ment, not of Babirius Postumus, but of his father, CaiuB Curius, 
who made the fortune Babirius lost through his connection with 
Pompey's political schemes. 

1 "He that maketh baste to be rich shall not be innocent." 
Proverbs xxviii. 20. 

- Upon. At, with. 

3 A.udits. Bent-roUs, accounts of income. 


"was truly observed by one, that himself came very 
hardly to a little riches, and very easily to great 
riches. For when a man's stock is come to that, 
that he can expect^ the prime of markets, and 
overcome^ those bargains which for their greatness 
are few men's money, and be partner in the indus- 
tries of younger men, he cannot but increase 
mainly.^ The gains of ordinary trades and voca- 
tions are honest; and furthered by two things 
chiefly : by diligence, and by a good name for good 
and fair dealing. But the gains of bargains are of 
a more doubtful nature ; when men shall wait upon 
others' necessity, broke ^ by servants and instruments 
to draw them on, put off others cunningly that 
would be better chapmen,^ and the like pi'actices, 
which are crafty and naught.® As for the chopping 
of bargains, when a man buys not to hold but to 
sell over again, that commonly grindeth double, 

''■ To expect the prime of markets is to wait until the market is at 
its best for buying and selling. Compare expect meaning to wait 
for in the Bible and Shakspere. "From henceforth expecting till his 
enemies be made his footstool." Hebrews x. 13. 

"Sweet soul, let 's in, and there expect their coming." 

Shakspere. The Merchant of Venice, v. 1. 

^Overcome. To come over suddenly; to take by surprise. 
' Mainly. Greatly. 

* Broke. To broke is to transact business hy means of an agent, 
but the context shows that here it means, as it often did, to deal 

^ Chapmen. Traders. 

"Fair Diomed, you do as chapmen do, 
Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy." 

Shakspere. Troilus and Cressida. iv. 1. 

Notice Bacon's explanation of chopping of bargains, in the next 

^ Naught, or naughty. Bad, wicked. 

"Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were good 
pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught : 
now I *11 stand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the raustui'd 
>vas good," Shakspere, As JoVf Lik^ Jt. i. ?, 


both upon the seller and upon the buyer. Sharings 
do greatly enrich, if the hands be well chosen that 
are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, 
though one of the worst ; as that whereby a man 
doth eat his bread in sudore vultus alieni;'^ and be- 
sides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet certain 
though it be, it hath flaws ; for that the scriveners^ 
and brokers do value ^ unsound men to serve their 
own turn. The fortune in being the first in an in- 
vention or in a privilege, doth cause sometimes a 
wonderful overgrowth in riches ; as it was with the 
first sugar man in the Canaries. Therefore if a 
man can play the true logician, to have as well 
judgment as invention, he may do great matters ; 
especially if the times be fit. He that resteth upon 
gains certain, shall hardly grow to great riches; 
and he that puts all upon adventures,* doth often- 
times break and come to poverty : it is good there- 
fore to guard adventures with certainties, that may 
uphold losses. Monopolies, and coemption ^ of 
wares for re-sale, where they are not restrained, are 
great means to enrich ; especially if the party have 
intelligence what things are like to come into re- 
quest, and so store himself beforehand. Eiches 
gotten by service, though it be of the best rise,^ 

^ In the sweat of the brow of another. 
^ Scrivener. A. money-lender. 

^ Value. To give out or represent as wealthy, or financially 

* Adventure. A pecuniary risk, a venture, a speculation. 

* Coemption. The act of purchasing the whole quantity of any- 
thing, 'cornering the market.* 

^ Rise. Value, worth, price. Bacon means to say that riches 
got by service, though that service may have been of the highest 
price, is yet often the worst, as when a man grows rich at the 
sacrifice of his honor or his conscience. 


yet when they are gotten by flattery, feeding hu- 
mours, and other servile conditions, they may be 
placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testa- 
ments and executorships (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, 
testamenta et orbos tamquam indagine capi,) ^ it is yet 
worse; by how much men submit themselves to 
meaner persons than in service. Believe not much 
them that seem to despise riches ; for they despise 
them that despair of them ; and none worse when 
they come to them. Be not penny-wise; riches 
have wings, and sometimes they fly away of them- 
selves,^ sometimes they must be set flying to bring 
in more. Men leave their riches either to their kin- 
dred, or to the public; and moderate portions 
prosper best in both. A great state left to an heir, 
is as a lure to all the birds of prey round about to 
seize on him, if he be not the better stablished' in 
years and judgment. Likewise glorious* gifts and 
foundations are Like sacrifices without salt; and but 
the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will pu- 
trefy and corrupt inwardly. Therefore measure not 
thine advancements^ by quantity, but frame them by 
measure : and defer not charities till death ; for, cer- 
tainly, if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is 
rather liberal of another man's than of his own. 

^ Wills and childless couples taken as with a net. (Romae teata- 
Tnenta et orbos velut indagine ejus capi.) Gornelii Taciti Annaliwm 
Liber XIII. 42. 

2 "For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as 
an eagle toward heaven." Proverbs xxiii. 5. 

^ Stablish. Establish. 

* Glorious. Possessing glory ; entitled to brilliant and lofty renown. 

s Advancement. In legal language, the promotion of children in 
life, especially by the application beforehand of property or money 
to which they are prospectively entitled under a settlement or vnU; 
also, the property so applied. 


XXXV. Of Prophecies.^ 

I MEAN not to speak of divine prophecies ; nor of 
heathen oracles; nor of natural predictions; but 
only of prophecies that have been of certain 
memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the 
Pythonissa^ to Saul, To-morrow thou and thy son 
shall ie tvith me. Homer hath these verses : 

At domus ^ness euuotis dominabitiar oris, 
Et nati natornm, et qui naseentur ab illis.' 

A prophecy, as it seems, of the Roman empire. 
Seneca the tragedian hath these verses : 

Venient annis 

SEeeuIa serfs, quibus Oceanus 
Vineula rerum laxet, et ingens 
Pateat Tellus, Tiphysque * novos 
Detegat orbes ; nee sit terris 
Ultima TliTile.s 

1 There is no Latin translation of tliis Essay. S. 

2 Pythonissa. Pythoness. Apollo slew the python, the serpent or 
dragon, whence he was called Pythia. A pythoness was the priestess 
of Apollo at his temple at Delphi, who gave oracular answers ; hence, 
any woman supposed to have the gift of divination. Saul consulted 
the witch of En-dor, who said to him: "Moreover, the Lord will 
also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines : and 
to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons he with me : the Lord also shall 
deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." 
I. Samuel xxviii. 19. 

^ The house of Aeneas shall rule over all shores, and his chil- 
dren's children, and those who shall he born of them. Not Homer, 
but Yerffil. Aeneidos Liber III. 97 — 98. 

* Tiphys was the pilot of the Argo. Thule was an island in the 
extreme north of Europe, according to some authorities, Iceland, 
according to others, Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands. 

** There shall come an age in ripe years when Ocean shall loose 
his chains, and a vast continent shall be laid open, and Tiphys shall 
discover new worlds, and Thule shall not be earth's bound. Seneca. 
Medea, last words of the Chorus at end of Act ii. 


A prophecy of the discovery of America. The 
daughter of Polycrates^ dreamed that Jupiter 
bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him ; and 
it came to pass that he was crucified in an open 
place, where the sun made his body run with sweat, 
and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon dreamed 
he sealed up his wife's belly ; whereby he did expound 
it, that his wife should be barren ; but Aristander^ 
the soothsayer told him his wife was with child, be- 
cause men do not use to seal vessels that are empty .^ 
A phantasm that appeared to M. Brutus* in his tent, 
said to him, Philippis iterum me videbis.^ Tiberius 
said to Galba, Tu quoque, Galba, degustabis imperium.^ 
In Vespasian's time, there went a prophecy in the 
East, that those that should come forth of Judea 
should reign over the world : which though it may be 
was meant of our Saviour, yet Tacitus expounds it of 
Vespasian.' Domitian dreamed, the night before he 

1 Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, 536 (or 532) to 522 B.C., when he was 
put to death. The story of Polycrates is told by Herodotus. III. Tha- 
lia. 39 seq. to 124—135, for the daughter's dream and its interpreta- 

^ Aristander of Telmessus was p, favorite soothsayer of Alex- 
ander the Great, who consulted him on all occasions. 

3 Plutarch. Life of Alexander. 

* Marcus Junius Brutus, 85 to 42 B.C., Koman politician and 

° Thou Shalt see me again at Philippi. Plutarch twice tells the 
story of the phantasm that is said to have appeared to Brutus before 
the battle of Philippi, once, with remarkable details in the Life of 
Marcus Brutus, and again, more briefly, in the Life of Caesar. It 
is well told in English, in Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men. 
Translated from the Greelc by John Dryden and Others. Marcus 
Brutus. Vol. III. pp. 411-412. 

The story was also told by Appian, a generation after Plutarch. 
See, The Roman History of Appian of Alexandria. Translated from 
the Greek by Horace White. (The Givil Wars. IT. xvii. 134.) 
Vol. II. p. 382. 

» Thou too, Galba, shalt taste of empire. Suetonius relates this 
prophecy as having been said, in Greek, to Augustus. C. Suetoni Tran- 
quilli De XII Caesaribus Liber YII. Serg. Sulpicius Galba. Caput 4. 

'' Cornelii Taciti Historiarum Liber V. 13. 


was slain, that a golden head was growing out of 
the nape of his neck: and indeed the succession 
that followed him, for many years, made golden 
times.^ Henry the Sixth^ of England said of Henry 
the Seventh, when he was a lad, and gave him 
water, This is the lad that shall enjoy the cr(mn for 
which we strive. When I was in France^ I heard 
from one Dr. Pena, that the Queen Mother, who 
was given to curious arts, caused the King her hus- 
band's nativity to be calculated, under a false name ; 
and the astrologer gave a judgment, that he should 
be killed in a duel ; at which the Queen laughed, 
thinking her husband to be above challenges and 
duels : but he was slain upon a course of tilt, the 
splinters of the staff of Montgomery going in at his 
beaver.* The trivial prophecy, which I heard when 
I was a child, and queen Elizabeth was in the flower 
of her years, was, 

' C. Suetoni Tranquilli Be XII Caesaribus Liber Till. Titua 
Flavius Domitianus. Caput S3. 

= Henry VI., 1421-1471, King of England, 1422-1461. The 
strife he alludes to was the Wars of the Boses, 1455 to 1485, be- 
tween the house of Lancaster (red rose) and house of York (white 
rose). At the close of Bacon's Bistory of King Henry YII, he 
relates this story: "One day when King Henry the Sixth (whose 
innocency gave him holiness) "was washing his hands at a great 
feast and cast his eye upon King Henry, then a young youth, he 
said; 'This is the lad that shall possess quietly that that we now 
strive for." Henry VII. united the warring factions by defeating 
Richard III. at Bosworth Field, Aug. 22, 1485, and marrying, 
January 18, 1486, Elizabeth of York, thus establishing his right to 
the crown, as Bacon says, by "three several titles" — ^by birth, by 
conquest, and by marriage. 

2 When Bacon was in France as a youth Henry III., 1551—1589, 
was King. The Queen Mother "was Catharine de' Medici, 1519—1589. 
Henry II., 1519-1559, husband of Catharine de' Medici and father 
of Henry III., was killed at a tournament held in honor of the 
marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with Philip II. of Spain, 
Montgomery was the captain of his Scottish guard. 

* Beaver. The movable part of a helmet which covered the face, 
and was raised or let down to enable the wearer to eat or drink. 


When, hempe is sponne 
England's done : 

whereby it was generally conceived, that after the 
princes had reigned which had the principal letters 
of that word hempe (which were Henry, Bdward,^ 
Mary,^ Philip,^ and Elizabeth), England should come 
to ntter confusion ; which, thanks be to God, is veri- 
fied only in the change of the name ; for that the 
King's style is now no more of England, but of Bri- 
tain. There was also another prophecy, J9ef ore the 
year of eighty-eight, which I do not well understand. 

There shall be seen upon a day, 
Between the Baugh and the May,* 
The black fleet of Norway. 
When that that is come and gone, 
England build houses of lime and stone, 
For after wars shall you have none. 

It was generally conceived to be meant of the 
Spanish fleet^ that came in eighty-eight : for that 
the king of Spain's surname, as they say, is Norway. 
The prediction of Eegiomontanus,^ 

Ootogesimus ootavus mirabilis annus,'' 

1 Edward VI., 1537-1553, King of England, 1547-1553, son of 
Henry VIII. by liis third queen, Jane Seymour. 

2 Mary Tudor, called 'Bloody Mary,' 1516-1558, Queen of 
England, 1553-1558, daughter of Henry VIII. and Catherine of 

= Philip II., 1527-1598, King of Spain, 1556-1598, married 
Queen Mary in 1554. 

* Other persons besides Bacon "do not well understand" this proph- 
ecy. Mr. W. Aldis Wright thinks that "the Baugh and the May" are 
Bass Rock and the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, where some 
ships of the Armada were wrecked in 1588. 

° The Invincible Armada. 

"Johann Miiller, surnamed Begiomontanus, 1436—1476, German 
mathematician and astronomer, Archbishop of Batisbon. 

' Eighty-eight, the wonderfui year. 


was thought likewise accomplished in the sending 
of that great fleet, being the greatest in strength, 
though not in number, of all that ever swam upon 
the sea. As for Cleon's^ dream, I think it was a 
jest. It was, that he was devoured of ^ a long 
dragon ; and it was expounded of a maker of sau- 
sages, that troubled him exceedingly. There are 
numbers of the like kind ; especially if you include 
dreams, and predictions of astrology. But I have 
set down these few only of certain credit, for ex- 
ample. My judgment is, that they ought all to be 
despised ; and ought to serve but for winter talk 
by the fireside. Though when I say despised, I 
mean it as for belief ; for otherwise, the spreading 
or publishing of them is in no sort to be despised. 
For they have done much mischief ; and I see many 
severe laws made to suppress them. That that 
hath given them grace, and some credit, consisteth 
in three things. First, that men mark when they 
hit, and never mark when they miss ; as they do 
generally also of dreams. The second is, that prob- 
able conjectures, or obscure traditions, many times 
turn themselves into prophecies ; while the nature 
of man, which coveteth divination, thinks it no peril 

^ The Knights of Aristophanes is a satire on Cleon, an Athenian 
demagogue. In the comedy Demos, or the State, is represented as 
an old man who has put himself into the hands of a rascally 
Paphlagonian steward. Nicias and Demosthenes, slaves of Demos, 
contrive that the Paphlagonian shall be supplanted by a sausage- 
seller. No sooner has Demos been thus rescued than his youthful- 
ness and his good sense return together. Cleon, who was a tanner's 
son, was killed at Amphipolis, Macedon, in 422 B.C. 

' Of in this use introduces the agent after a passive verb, and 
is now superseded by by, except as a biblical, poetic, or stylistic 

**I have been told so of many. 

Shakapere. As You hike It. Hi, ?, 


to foretell that which indeed they do but collect. 
As that of Seneca's verse. For so much was then 
subject to demonstration, that the globe of the 
earth had great parts beyond the Atlantic, which 
mought be probably conceived hot to be all sea : and 
adding thereto the tradition in Plato's Timaeus,^ 
and his Atlanticus, it mought encourage one to turn 
it to a prediction. The third and last (which is the 
great one) is, that almost all of them, being infinite 
in number, have been impostures, and by idle and 
crafty brains merely contrived and feigned after the 
event past. 

XXXVI. Of Ambition. 

Ambition is like choler ; •vrhich is an humour that 
maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and 
stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be 
stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh 

^ Of the Dialogues of Plato, the Republic, Tinuieus, and Critias 
■were meant to form a trilogy. The interlocutors of Timaeus are 
Socrates, Critias, Timaeus the Pythagorean philosopher, and Hermo- 
crates. Critias begins the main line of thought by recalling some 
of the myths of ancient Athens, and then proposes to regard the 
ideal state of Socrates in the Bepublie as this ancient Athenian 
state. Timaeus is to carry on the discourse with the history of 
creation down to the birth of mankind, when Critias will make a 
further application of the story to the ideal Republic. The third 
dialogue, Critias, is but a fragment relating the legend of pre- 
historic Athens and Atlantis. In Timaeus and Critias Atlantis is a 
mythical island somewhere northwest of Africa, which, with its 
inhabitants, disappeared in a convulsion of nature. Bacon calls 
the dialogue Critias, 'Atlanticus.' 


adust,^ and thereby malign and venomous. So am- 
bitious men, if they find the way open for then- 
rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy 
than dangerous ; but if they be checked in then.- 
desires, they become secretly discontent,^ and look 
upon men, and matters with an evil eye, and are 
best pleased when things go backward ; which is 
the worst property in a servant of a prince or state. 
Therefore it is good for princes, if they use ambi- 
tious men, to handle it so as they be still progressive 
and not retrograde ; which because ib cannot be with- 
out inconvenience, it is good not to use such natures 
at all. For if they rise not with their service, they will 
. take order^ to make their service fall with them. 
But since we have said it were good not to use men 
of ambitious natures, except it be upon necessity, 
it is fit we speak in what eases they are of necessity. 
Good commanders in the wars must be taken, be 
they never so ambitious ; for the use of their service 
dispenseth* with the rest; and to take a soldier 
without ambition is to pull off his spurs. There is 
also great use of ambitious men in being screens to 
princes in matters of danger and envy ; for no man 

'•Adust. Parched; fiery. 

"High in front advanc't, 
The brandisht sword of God before them blaz'd 
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, 
And vapour as the Libyan air adust, 
Began to parch .that temperate clime." 

Milton. Patadise Lost. XII. 63Z-636. 

' Discontent. Discontented. 

^ Take order. To take measures or steps; to make arrange- 

"Now will we take some order in the town, 
Placing therein some expert ofScers." 

Shakspere. I. King Henry VI. Hi. 8. 

* Dispense with. To excuse. 


will take that part, except he be like a seeled^ 
dove, that mounts and mounts because he cannot 
see about him. There is use also of ambitious men 
in pulling down the greatness of any subject that 
overtops; as Tiberius used Macro^ in the puUing 
down of Sejanus.^ Since therefore they must be 
used in such cases, there resteth^ to speak how they 
are to be bridled, that they may be less dangerous. 
There is less danger of them if they be of mean 
birth, than if they be noble ; and if they be rather 
harsh of nature, than gracious and popular : and if 
they be rather new raised, than grown cunning^ and 
fortified in their greatness. It is counted by some 
a weakness in princes to have favourites ; but it is 
of all others the best remedy against ambitious 
great-ones. For when the way of pleasuring® and 
displeasuring"^ lieth by the favourite, it is impossible 
any other should be over-great. Another means 
to curb them, is to balance them by others as proud 

^ Seel. To close the eyes of. The eyes of a newly taken hawk 
were 'seeled* in training it. 

^ Naevius Sertorius Macro, killed 38 a.d., was prefect of the 
Roman pretorians under Tiberius and Caligula. 

^ Aelius Sejanus, died 31 a.d., Roman courtier under Augustus 
and Tiberius. His story is the subject of Ben Jonson's tragedy, 
Sejanus his Fall; when this play was first acted, in 1603, Shak- 
spere was one of the "principal Tragoedians" who took part in the 

* Rest. To he left; to remain. 

"Well then; nought rests 
But' that she fit her love now to her fortune," 

Ben Jonson. The Alchemist, iv. 2. 

^Cunning. Skilful. "And the boys grew: and Esau was a 
cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, 
dwelling in tents." Genesis xxv. 27. 

^ Pleasure. To give pleasure to ; to please. 

"I count it one of my greatest afBictions, say, that I cannot 
pleasure such an honourable gentleman." Shakspere. Timon of 
Athens. Hi. 2. 

"^ Displeasure. To displease, annoy. 


as they. Btit tten there must be some middle 
counsellors, to keep tilings steady ; for without that 
ballast the ship will roll too much. At the least, 
a prince may animate and inure ^ some meaner per- 
sons, to be as it were scourges to ambitious men. 
As for the having of them obnoxious^ to ruin ; if 
they be of fearful natures, it may do weU ; but if 
they be stout and daring, it may precipitate their 
designs, and prove dangerous. As for the puUing 
of them down, if the affairs require it, and that it 
may not be done with safety suddenly, the only way 
is, the interchange continually of favoxirs and dis- 
graces ; ^ whereby they may not know what to expect, 
and be as it were in a wood. Of ambitions, it is less 
harmful, the ambition to prevail in great things, 
than that other to appear in every thing ; for that 
breeds confusion, and mars business. But yet it is 
less danger to have an ambitious man stirring in 
business, than great in dependanees.* He that 
seeketh to be eminent amongst able men hath a 
great task ; but that is ever good for the public. 
But he that plots to be the only figure amongst 
ciphers is the decay of a whole age. Honour hath 
three things in it : the vantage ground to do good ; 
the approach to kings and principal persons ; and 
the raising of a man's own fortunes. He that hath 
the best of these intentions, when he aspireth, is 
an honest man ; and that prince that can discern 
of these intentions in another that aspireth, is a 

^ Inure. To make use of. 

2 Obnoxious. Liable, subject, or exposed (to anything harmful or 
undesirable) . 

^ Disgrace. Disfavor, dishonor, affront. 

* Dependance. A body of dependants or subordinates; a retinue. 


wise prince. G-enerally, let princes and states 
choose sncli miaisters as are more sensible of duty 
than of rising j and such as love business rather 
upon conscience than upon bravery ; ^ and let them 
discern a busy nature from a willing mind. 

XXXVII. Of Masques^ and Triumphs.^ 

These things are but toys, to come amongst 
such serious observations.* But yet, since princes 
will have such things, it is better they should be 
graced with elegancy than daubed with cost. Danc- 
ing to song, is a thing of great state and pleasure. 
I understand it, that the song be in quire, placed 
aloft, and accompanied with some broken music j^ 

^Bravery. Ostentation; display. 

2 Masque. A form of dramatic entertainment popular at Court 
and among the nobility of England during the Elizabethan age; 
originally consisting of dancing and acting in dumb show, the per- 
formers being masked and dressed in character, but afterwards in- 
cluding dialogue (usually in verse), and song. Milton wrote, Cormis. 
A Mash Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634. Before John, Earl of 
Bridgewater, then President of Wales. 

^Triumph, A public festivity or display; a stately procession or 
pageant. Beaumont and Fletcher's Four Plays in One consists of 
four Triumphs — of Honor, of Love, of Death, and of Time. 

* Francis Bacon was concerned as author, or "chief contriver,'' 
or "chief encourager" of six Elizabethan masques. Two were for 
entertainments given to Queen Elizabeth by the Earl of Essex; 
three were Gray's Inn masques; and he was "chief contriver" of 
Beaumont's masque The Marriage of the Thames and the Rhine, 
written for the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth, and presented 
February 20, 1613. 

" Broken music. Music arranged for different instruments, 'part' 
or concerted music. "And so likewise in that music which we call 
broken music, or consort music, some consorts of instruments are 
sweeter than others (a thing not sufficiently yet observed) : as the 
Irish harp and base viol agree well; the recorder and stringed music 


and the ditty ^ fitted to the device. Acting in song, 
especially in dialogues, hath an extreme good grace ; 
I say acting, not dancing (for that is a mean and 
vnlgar thing) 5 and the voices of the dialogue would ^ 
be strong and manly, (a base and a tenor; no 
treble;) and the ditty high and tragical; not nice^ 
or dainty.^ Several quires, placed one over against 
another, and taking the voice by catches,^ anthem- 
wise, give great pleasure. Turning dances into fig- 
ure is a childish curiosity. And generally let it be 

agree well; organs and the voice agree well, &c; but the virginals 
and the lute, or the Welsh harp and Irish harp, or the voice and 
pipes alone, agree not so well." Bacon. Sylva Sylvarum. Century 
III. 278. 

^ Ditty. A song; now, u> short, simple song. 

"And near, and nearer as they row'd, 
Distinct the martial ditty fiow'd." 

Scott. The Lady of the Lake. II. xviii. 
2 Would. Should. 
2 Nice. Fine, delicate, finicky. 

"Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?" 

ShaJcspere. III. King Senry VI. iv. 7. 

* Dainty. Choice; excellent. 

"Ayl indeed? a scheme o' yours? that must be a denty anel" 

Scott. Old Mortality. YI. 

^ Catch. Originally, a short musical composition in which each 
succeeding singer takes up or 'catches' his part in turn; a round. 
Subsequently , especially applied to rounds, in which the words are 
so arranged as to produce ludicrous effects, one singer 'catching' at 
the words of another. 

"Sir Toby. Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw 
three souls out of one weaver? shall we do that? 

Sir Andrew. An you love me, let 's do 't: I am a dog at a 

Clown. By 'r Lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well. 

Sir Andrew. Most certain. Let our catch be, Thou knave. 

Clown. Hold thy peace, thou knave, knight? I shall be con- 
strained in 't to call thee knave, knight. 

Sir Andrew. 'T is not the first time I have constrained one to 
call me knave. Begin, Fool: it begins, Sold thy peace. 

Clown. I shall never begin, if I hold my peace. 

Sir Andrew. Good, i' faith. Gome, begin. 

[They sing the catch.]" 
Shakspere. Twelfth Night, ii. 5. 


noted, that those things which I here set down are 
such as do naturally take the sense, and not respect 
petty wondemients.^ It is true, the alterations of 
scenes, so it be quiatly and without noise, are things 
of great beauty and pleasure ; for they feed and re- 
lieve the eye, before it be full of the same object. 
Let the scenes abound with light, especially coloured 
and varied ; and let the masquers, or any other, that 
are to come down from the scene, have some motions 
upon the scene itself before their coming down ; for 
it draws the eye strangely, and makes it with great 
pleasure to desire to see that it cannot perfectly dis- 
cern. Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not 
chirpings or pulings.^ Let the music likewise be 
sharp and loud, and well placed. The colours that 
shew best by candle-light, are white, carnation, and 
a kind of sea-water-green ; and ogs,' or spangs,* as 
they are of no great cost, so they are of most glory.^-a V'-^ 'v^' 
As for rich embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. 
Let the suits of the masquers be graceful, and such 

^ Wonderment, Surprise. 
^ Pulinff. Whining. 

* Oes. SmaU round spangles used to ornament dress in the seven- 
teenth century. 

"Fair Helena; who more engilds the night 
Than all yon fiery O's and eyes of light." 
Shakspere. A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Hi. 2. 
"The Ornaments of Honor were these: a rich full robe of blew 
silke girt about her, a mantle of siluer worne ouerthwart, ful gath- 
ered, and descending in folds behind: a vaile of net lawne, en- 
brodered with Oos and Spangl'd." George Chapman. The Memora- 
ble Mashe of the two Honorable Houses or Inns of Court; the 
Middle Temple, and Lyncolns Inne. . . . "With a description of 
their whole show." 

* Spang. A shining object or ornament; a spangle. 

"The compass heaven, smooth without grain or fold. 
All set with spangs of glitt'ring stars untold." 

Bacon. The Translation of the CIYth Psalm. 
° Glory. Brilliancy, splendor. 


as become the person when the vizards ^ are off ; not 
after examples of known attires ; Turks, soldiers, 
mariners, and the Kke. Let anti-masques ^ not be 
long; they have been commonly of fools, satyrs, 
baboons, wild-men, antics,^ beasts, sprites,* witches, 
Ethiops, pigmies, turquets,^ nymphs, rustics, Cupids, 
statua's moving, and the like. As for angels, it is 
not comical enough to put them in anti-masques; 
and anything that is hideous, as devils, giants, is on 
the other side as unfit. But chiefly, let the music of 
them be recreative, and with some strange changes. 
Some sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without 
any drops falling, are, in such a company as there 
is steam and heat, things of great pleasure and re- 
freshment. Double masques, one of men, another 
of ladies, addeth state and variety. But all is no- 
thing except the room be kept clear and neat. 
For justs,® and tourneys,'' and barriers;^ the 

^ Vizard (viaor) . A mash covering the face. 

^Anti-masque. A grotesque interlude between the acts of a 
masque, to which it served as a foil, and of which it was at first 
often a burlesque. Vrson and his bears, and Straying and deformed 
Pilgrims, are two anti-masques of Ben Jonson's Masque of Augurs, 
acted before the Court, Christmas, 1621. 

3 Antic. A clown, a mountebank, a buffoon. 

"Thou antic death, which laugh'st us here to scorn." 

Shakspere. I. King Henry YI. iv. 7. 

* Sprite (spirit). Elf, fairy, goblin. 

"Of these am I, who thy protection claim, 
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name." 

Pope. The Rape of the Lock. I. 108-109. 

^ Turquet. A diminutive figure of a Turk or Mohammedan. 

" Just (joust) . A mock fight, as at a tournament. 

' Tourney. A tournament ; a mock fight or martial sport of the 
middle ages for exhibiting prowess and skill in arms. 

' Barriers. The palisades enclosing the ground where a tourna- 
ment, tilting, or other martial contest or exhibition was held; the 
lists. Hence, a masque or entertainment in the form of a tourna- 
ment. Ben Jonson wrote an entertainment presented at Court, 
Jan. 6, 1610, called Prince Henry's Barriers. 


glories of them are chiefly in the chariots, wherein 
the challengers make their entry ; especially if they 
be drawn with strange beasts : as Uons, bears, camels, 
and the like; or in the devices ^ of their entrance; 
or in the bravery of their liveries ; or in the goodly 
furniture of their horses and armour. But enough 
of these toys.^ 

XXXVIII. Of Nature in Men. 

Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; 
seldom extinguished. Force maketh nature more 
violent in the return ; doctrine and discourse maketh 
nature less importune ;^ but custom only doth alter 
and subdue nature. He that seeketh victory over 
his nature, let him not set himself too great nor too 
small tasks ; for the first will make him dejected by 
often failings; and the second will make him a 
smaU proeeeder, though by often prevailings. And 
at the first let him practise with helps, as swimmers 
do with bladders or rushes ; but after a time let him 
practise with disadvantages, as dancers do with 
thick shoes. For it breeds great perfection, if the 
practice be harder than the use. Where nature is 
mighty, and therefore the victory hard, the degrees 

1 Device. Somethinp devised or fancifully invented for dramatic 

"The song is Iieard,_ the rosy garland worn; 
Devices quaint, and frolics ever new, 
Tread on each other's kibes." 

Byron. Ckilde Rarold. I. Ixvii. 

' This Essay is not translated. S. 

* Importune. Importunate ; troublesome. 


had need be,^ first to stay and arrest nature in time ; 
like to him that would say over the four and twenty 
letters when he was angry ; then to go less in quan- 
tity ; as if one should, in forbearing wine, come from 
drinking healths to a draught at a meal; and lastly, 
to discontinue altogether. But if a man have the 
fortitude and resolution to enfranchise himseK at 
once, that is the best : 

Optimus ille animi vindex Isedentia pectus 
Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque semel.^ 

Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend nature as 
a wand to a contrary extreme, whereby to set it 
right, understanding it, where the contrary extreme 
is no vice. Let not a man force a habit upon him- 
self with a perpetual continuance, but with some in- 
termission. For both the pause reinf orceth the new 
onset ; and if a man that is not perfect be ever in 
practice, he shall as well practise his errors as his 
abilities, and induce one habit of both ; and there is 
no means to help this but by seasonable intermis- 
sions. But let not a man trust his victory over his 
nature too far ; for nature will lay ^ buried a great 
time, and yet revive upon the occasion or temptation. 
Like as it was with ^sop's* damsel, turned from a 

^ Had need be. Had, with following infinitive, means to he 
under obligation, to be necessitated, to do something; need in this 
idiom is the Middle English genitive, nede, 'of need, or necessity.' 

2 He is the best assertor of the soul who bursts the bonds that 
gall his breast, and suffers all at once. P. Ovidii Nasonis Remedia 
Amoris. 293-294. 

' So in original, and also in Ed. 1639. I have not thought it 
right to substitute lie, as has been usually done; because it may be 
that the form of the word was not settled in Bacon's time; and the 
correction of obsolete forms tends to conceal the history of the lan- 
guage. Compare Natural History, Century I. 19. S. 

* Aesop or Esop. According to tradition, a Greek fabulist of the 
6th century, B.C., represented as a dwarf and originally a slave. 


cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the board's 
end, till a mouse ran before her.^ Therefore let a 
man either avoid the occasion altogether; or put 
himself often to it, that he may be little moved with 
it. A man's nature is best perceived in privateness,^ 
for there is no affectation ; in passion, for that put- 
teth a man out of his precepts ; and in a new case or 
experiment, for there custom leaveth him. They 
are happy men whose natures sort with their voca- 
tions ; otherwise they may say, multum incola fuit 
anima mea ^ when they converse * in those things they 
do not affect.^ In studies, whatsoever a man com- 
mandeth upon himself, let him set hours for it ; but 
whatsoever is agreeable to his nature, let him take 
no care for any set times ; for his thoughts will fly 
to it of themselves ; so as the spaces of other busi- 
ness or studies will suffice. A man's nature runs 
either to herbs or weeds ; therefore let him season- 
ably water the one, and destroy the other. 

^Fables of Aesop and other Eminent Mythologists : with Morals 
and Refiexiona. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. Fable LXI. A 
Cat and Yenua. 

^ Privateness. Privacy. 

^ Psalms cxx. 6. Vulgate. In the Douay Bible of 1610 this 
verse is translated "My soul hath long .been a sojourner" ; in the 
Authorized Version, it is, "My soul hath long dwelt with him that 
hateth peace." 

* Converse. To deal with, or to be engaged in. 

' Affect. To like. 

"In brief, sir, study what you most affect." 

ShaJcspere. The Taming of the Shrew, i. 1. 


XXXIX. Of Custom and Education. 

Men's thoughts are much according to their in- 
clination ; their discourse and speeches according to 
their learning and infused opinions ; but their deeds 
are after ^ as^ they have been accustomed. And 
therefore, as Machiavel well noteth (though in an 
evil-favoured instance), there is no trusting to the 
force of nature nor to the bravery of words, except 
it be corroborate^ by custom. His instance is, that 
for the achieving of a desperate conspiracy, a man 
should not rest upon the fierceness of any man's 
nature, or his resolute undertakings ; but take such 
an one as hath had his hands formerly in blood.* 
But Machiavel knew not of a friar Clement," nor a 
Ravillac,^ nor a Jaureguy,' nor a Baltazar Gerard; 
yet his rule holdeth still, that nature, nor the en- 
gagement of words, are not so forcible as custom. 
Only superstition is now so well advanced, that men 

* After. According to. "O Lord, deal not with us after our 
sins." The Litany. 

' As. That. 

' Corroborate. Preterit participle, clipped form. Strengthened, 

"Ye know my father was the rightful heir 
Of England, and his right came down to me. 
Corroborate by your acts of Parliament." 

Tennyson. Queen Mary. ii. 2. 

* Discorsi di Niccold MachiaveUi Segretario e Citt. Fiorcntino 
aopra La Prima Deca di T. Livio. III. e. Delle Gongiure. p. 40. 

"Jacques Clement, 1555( «)-1589, a fanatical monk who mur- 
dered Henry III., of Prance. 

"Francois Kavaillac, 1578( »)-1610, assassinated Henry IV., of 
France, May 14, 1610. 

^ John Jaureguy attempted to assassinate William the Silent, 
Prince of Orange, March 18, 1582. On July 10, 1584, William 
the Silent was shot by Balthazar Gerard. 


of the first blood ^ are as firm as butchers by occu- 
pation ; and votary ^ resolution is made equipollent ^ 
to custom even in matter of blood. In other things 
the predominancy of custom is every where visible ; 
insomuch as a man would wonder to hear men pro- 
fess, protest, engage, give great words, and then do 
just as they have done before ; as if they were dead 
images, and engines moved only by the wheels of 
custom. We see also the reign or tyranny of cus- 
tom, what it is. The Indians (I mean the sect of 
their wise men) lay themselves quietly upon a stack 
of wood, and so sacrifice themselves by fire. Nay 
the wives strive to be burned with the corpses of 
their husbands. The lads of Sparta,* of ancient 
time, were wont to be scourged upon the altar of 
Diana, without so much as queching.^ I remember, 
in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's * time of Eng- 
land, an Irish rebel condemned, put up a petition to 
the Deputy that he might be hanged in a with,' and 
not in an halter ; because it had been so used with 
former rebels. There be monks in Russia, for pen- 
ance, that will sit a whole night in a vessel of water, 
till they be engaged^ with hard ice. Many examples 
may be put of the force of custom, both upon mind 

^ The translation has priTtu^e classis mcarii ; (murderers of the 
first class) : which seems to me to miss the meaning of the English. 
"Men of the first blood" must mean here, men whose hands have 
not Jjeen in hlood before, S. 

^ "Votary. Consecrated by a vow. 

^ Equipollent. Equivalent. 

* M. TuUii Ciceronis Tusculanarum Disputaiionum ad M. Bru- 
tum Liber II. Caput 14. 

^ Quech, or quitch, means to flinch, to shrink. 

"Elizabeth, 1533-1603, Queen of England, 1558-1603. 

"^ With, withe. A willow twig; a band of twigs. *'And Samson 
said unto her. If they bind me with seven green withs that were never 
dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man." Judges xvi. 7. 

' Engaged with, Beld in. 


and body. Therefore, since custom is tlie principal 
magistrate of man's life, let men by all means en- 
deavour to obtain good customs. Certainly custom 
is most perfect when it beginneth in young years : 
this we call education ; which is, in effect, but an 
early custom. So we see, in languages the tongue 
is more pliant to all expressions and sounds, the 
joints are more supple to all feats of activity and 
motions, in youth than afterwards. For it is true 
that late learners cannot so well take the ply ; ^ ex- 
cept it be in some minds that have not suffered 
themselves to fix, but have kept themselves open 
and prepared to receive continual amendment, which 
is exceeding rare. But i£ the force of custom simple 
and separate be great, the force of custom copulate ^ 
and conjoined and collegiate ^ is far greater. For 
there example teacheth, company comforteth,* emu- 
lation quickeneth, glory raiseth : so as in such places 
the force of custom is in his^ exaltation.^ Certainly 
the great multiplication "^ of virtues upon human na- 

^ Ply. Bent, direction. 

- Copulate. Connected, united. 

3 Collegiate. 0/ or belonging to colleagues; corporate. 

* Comfort, in the Latin sense, to strengthen much, "Yea, though 
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no 
evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." 
Psalms xxiii. 4. "Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and 
make much of her." Shakspere. All's Well that Ends Well. i. 1. 

^ His. Its. ' The pronoun *its' first appeared in print in John 
Florio's A Worlde of Wordes, 1598. It does not occur in King 
James's Bihle of 1611, nor in any work of Shakspere published 
during his lifetime. There are, however, nine 'it's' and one 'its' in 
the Shakspere folio of 1623. The essay Of Custom and Education 
first saw the light in the second edition of the Essays, in 1612. 

® Exaltation. In astrological language, a planet was said to be in 
exaltation when it was in that sign of the zodiac where it was sup- 
posed to exert its strongest influence. 

^Multiplication upon. Compare the language of the Collect for 
the fourth Sunday after Trinity in The Booh of Common Prayer: 
"Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy." 


ture resteth upon societies well ordained and discip- 
lined. For commonwealths and good governments 
do nourisli virtue grown, but do not much mend the 
seeds. But the misery is, that the most effectual 
means are now applied to the ends least to be de- 

XL. Of Foetdke. 

It cannot be denied, but outward accidents con- 
duce much to fortune ; favour, opportunity, death 
of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly, the 
mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands. 
Fdber quisque fortunce stice,^ saith the poet. And the 
most frequent of external causes is, that the folly 
of one man is the fortune of another. For no man 
prospers so suddenly as by others' errors. Serpens 
nisi serpentem comederit non fit draco.^ Overt and 
apparent^ virtues bring forth praise ; but there be 
secret and hidden virtues that bring forth fortune ; 
certain deliveries of a man's self, which have no 

' Every man is the maker of his own fortune. It is a Latin epi- 
gram of Bacon's, making in four words a short cut through eight 
words of Plautns: 

Uain sapiens quidem pol ipsits fingit fortunam sibi. 

For indeed the wise man really makes his own fortune for him- 
self. Plautus. Trinummus, II. it. 82. 

' Unless the serpent has devoured a serpent, it does not become a 

3 Apparent. Manifest to the understanding, evident, plain. 
"It may be, these apparent prodigies. 
The unaceustom'd terror of this night. 
And the persuasion of his augurers. 
May hold him from the Capitol to-day." 

Shalcspere. Julius Caesar, ii. 1, 


name. The Spanish name, desemboUura,^ partly ex- 
presseth them ; when there be not stonds nor res- 
tiveness in a man's nature ; but that the wheels of 
his mind keep way^ with the wheels of his fortune. 
For so Livy (after he had described Cato Major' 
in these words, In illo viro tantuni robur corporis et 
animi fuit, ut quocunque loco natus esset, fortunam 
sihi facturus videretur)^ falleth upon that, that he 
had versatile ingenium.^ Therefore if a man look 
sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune : for 
though she be blind, yet she is not invisible. The 
way of fortune is like the milken way^ in the sky ; 
which is a meeting or knot of a number of small 
stars ; not seen asunder, but giviag light together. 
So are there a number of little and scai'ce discerned 
virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make 
men fortunate. The Italians note some of them, 
such as a man would little think. "When they speak 
of one that cannot do amiss, they will throw in into 
his other conditions, that he hath Poco di mattoJ' 
And certainly there be not two more fortunate 
properties, than to have a little of the fool, and not 

* Desemboltura for desenvoltura (from desenvolver, to unroll, un- 
fold). Graceful and easy delivery of one's sentiments and thoughts, 

^ Keep way. To keep pace. 

3 Marcus Porcius Cato, surnamed 'the Censor' and Priscus, 
234—149 B.C., Roman statesman, general, and writer. 

* In that man there was so much strength of body and of mind, 
that in whatever place he had been born, it seems he would have 
made a fortune for himself. (In hoc viro tanta via animi in- 
geniique fuit, ut quocunque loco natus esset, fortunam sibi ipse 
facturus fuisse videretur. T. lAvii Patavini Historiarum Ab Urbe 
Condita Liber XXXIX. Caput 40.) 

° A mind easily turned from one thing to another. 

^ Milken way. The galaxy, or milky way ; a luminous band or 
track encircling the heavens irregularly, and known to consist of 
innumerable stars perceptible only by means of the telescope. 

' A little of the fool. 


too much of the honest. Therefore extreme lovers 
of their country or masters were never fortunate, 
neither can they be. Tor when a man placeth his 
thoughts without himself, he goeth not his own way. 
An hasty fortune maketh an enterpriser^ and re- 
mover j^ (the French hath it better, entreprenant, 
or remnant;) but the exercised fortune maketh the 
able man. Fortune is to be honoured and respected, 
and it be but for her daughters, Confidence and 
Reputation. For those two felicity breedeth ; the 
first within a man's self, the latter in others towards 
him. All wise men, to decline^ the pnvy of their 
own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and 
Fortune ; for so they may the better assume them : 
and, besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care 
of the higher powers. So Caesar said to the pilot in 
the tempest, Ccesarem portas, etfortunam yus.^ So 
Sylla chose the name of Felix, and not of Magnus? 
And it hath been noted, that those who ascribe 
openly too much to their own wisdom and policy, 
end infortunate. It is written that Timotheus® the 
Athenian, after he had, in the account he gave to 
the state of his government, often interlaced this 
speech, and in this Fortune had no part, never pros- 
pered in any thing he undertook afterwards. Cer- 
tainly there be, whose fortunes are like Homer's 
verses, that have a slide ^ and easiness more than 

^Enterpriser. One who attempts an undertaking; an adventurer. 

2 Remover. An agitator. 

* Decline. To avoid; to turn aside. 

' You carry Caesar and his fortune. Plutarch. Life of Caesar. 

" 'Fortunate' and not of 'Great.' Plutarch. Life of Sulla. 

° TimotheuB, died 354 B.C., Athenian naval commander. 

' Slide. Fluency. 


the verses of other poets; as Plutarch saith of 
Timoleon's^ fortune, in respect of that of Agesilaus 
or Epaminondas.^ And that this should be, no 
doubt it is much in a man's self. 

XLI. Of UsxffiT. 

Many have made witty invectives against Usury.^ 
They say that it is a pity the devil should have 
Grod's part, which is the tithe. That the usurer is 
the greatest sabbath-breaker, because his plough 
goeth every Sunday. That the usurer is the drone 
that Virgil speaketh of : 

Ignavum fuoos peous a prsesepibus aroent.* 

That the usurer breaketh the first law that was 
made for mankind after the fall, which was, in 
sudor e vulMs tui comedes panem tuum; not, in sudor e 
vuttiis alieni? That usurers should have orange- 
tawny® bonnets, because they do judaize. That it 

^Timoleon, died 337 or 336 B.C., a celebrated Corinthian general 
and statesman. 

2 Epaminondas, 418(?)— 362 B.C., Theban general and statesman, 
victorious but mortally wounded in the battle of Mantinea, 362 B.C. 

3 Usury formerly meant interest on money only, as in the parable, 
Luke xix. 23 : "Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the 
bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with 
usury?" Usury now means an illegal or exorbitant rate of interest 
for lent money. 

* They drive from the hives the drones in lazy swarm. P. Yer- 
gili Maronis Georgicon Liber IV, 168. 

^ In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread; not in the 
sweat of the face of another. Bacon has in mind the curse of Adam 
after the fall. Genesis Hi. 19: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou 
eat bread til] thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou 
taken: for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." 

^ Coryats Crudities, Vol. I. Observations of Venice, pp. 370 — 
372, ed, 1905, records the "orange-tawny bonnets" of the Jews, which 


is against nature for money to beget money ; and 
the like. I say this only, that usury is a concessum 
propter duritiem cordis :^ for since there must be 
borrowing and lending, and men are so hard of 
heart as they will not lend freely, usury must be 
permitted. Some others have made suspicious and 
cunning propositions of banks, discovery of men's 
estates, and other inventions. But few have spoken 
of usury usefully. It is good to set before us 
the incommodities^and commodities* of usury, that 
the good may be either weighed out or culled out; 
and warily to provide, that while we make forth to 
that which is better, we meet not with that which is 

The discommodities of usury are, First, that it 
makes fewer merchants. For were it not for this 
lazy trade of usury, money would not lie still, but 
would in great part be employed upon merchandiz- 
ing;* which is the vena porta^ of wealth in a state. 

Thomas Coryate saw in 1611. In the Ghetto, he says, "the Levantine 
Jewes, which are borne in Hierusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople, 
&c., weare Turbents upon their heads as the Turkes do; but the 
difference is this: the Turkes weare white, the Jewes yellow." 
In the synagogue of Venice, he goes on, "every one of them what- 
soever he be, man or childe, weareth a kinde of light yellowish vaile, 
made of Linsie Woolsie (as I take it) over his shoulders, some- 
thing worse than our courser - Holland, which reacheth a little 
beneath the middle of their backes." Sir Walter Scott, describing 
the dress of the Jew, Isaac of York, says: "He wore a high, square 
yellow cap of a peculiar fashion, assigned to his nation to distin- 
guish them from Christians, and which he doffed with great 
humility at the door of the hall." Ivanhoe. V. 

^ A concession on account of the hardness of heart [of men]. 

^ IneommocUties, Disadvantages. 

^ Commodities. Advantages. 

* Merchandizing. Buying and selling, trading. 

^ Vena porta, or portae, or portarum, that is, the 'vein of the 
gate,' the gateway (of the liver). The portal vein is a short trunk 
which receives the blood from the viscera and carries it to the liver. 
The metaphor illustrates its importance to the physical economy. 


The second, that it makes poor merchants. For as 
a farmer cannot husband his ground so well if he 
sit^ at a great rent ; so the merchant cannot drive 
his trade so well, if he sit at great usury. The third 
is incident to the other two ; and that is the decay 
of customs of kings or states, which ebb or flow with 
merchandizing. The fourth, that it bringeth the 
treasure of a realm or state into a few hands. For 
the usurer being at certainties, and others at uncer- 
tainties at the end of the game most of the money 
will be in the box ; and ever a state flourisheth 
when wealth is more equally spread. The fifth, that 
it beats down the price of land ; for the employ- 
ment of money is chiefly either merchandizing or 
purchasing ; and usury waylays both. The sixth, 
that it doth dull and damp all industries, improve- 
ments, and new inventions, wherein money would 
be stirring, if it were not for this slug.^ The last, 
that it is the canker and ruin of many men's estates ; 
which in process of time breeds a public poverty. 

On the other side, the commodities of usury are, 
first, that howsoever^ usury in some respect hinder- 
eth merchandizing, yet in some other it advanceth 
it; for it is certain that the greatest part of 
trade is driven by young merchants, upon borrow- 
ing at interest ; so as* if the usurer either call in or 
keep back his money, there will ensue presently a 

^ Sit. To be located or placed; to abide. "And, Steenie, if you 
can hold your tongue about this matter, you shall »it, from this term 
downward, at an easier rent." Scott. JRedffauntlet. Letter XI, 
Wandering Willie's Tale. 

2 Sluff. Hindrance, obstruction. 

3 Howsoever. Notwithstanding that, albeit, 
« As, That. 


great stand of trade. The second is, that were it 
not for this easy borrowing upon interest, men's 
necessities would draw upon them a most sudden 
undoing ; in that they would be forced to seU their 
means (be it lands or goods) far under foot ; ^ and 
so, whereas usury doth but gnaw upon them, bad 
markets would swallow them quite up. As for 
mortgaging or pawning, it wiU little mend the 
matter : for either men will not take pawns^ with- 
out use ; ^ or if they do, they will look precisely for 
the forfeiture. I remember a cruel monied man in 
the country, that would say. The devil take this 
usury, it keep us from forfeitures of mortgages 
and bonds. The third and last is, that it is a vanity 
to conceive that there would be ordinary borrowing 
without profit ; and it is impossible to conceive the 
number of inconveniences that will ensue, if borrow- 
ing be cramped. Therefore to speak of the abolish- 
ing of usury is idle. All states have ever had it, in 
one kind or rate, or other. So as that opinion 
must be sent to Utopia.* 

^ Under foot. Below standard value. 

^ Pawn. Surety, pledge. "Do you hear, sir? we have no store 
of money at this time, but you shall have good pawns; look you, sir, 
this jewel, and that gentleman's silk stockings." Ben Jonaon. 
Every Man in his Humour, iv. 7. 
^ Use. Interest. 

"Me, therefore, studious of laborious ease. 
Not slothful, happy to deceive the time. 
Not waste it, and aware that human life 
Is but a loan to be repaid with use, 
When He shall call his debtors to account. 
From whom are all our blessings, business iindB 
E'en here." 

Cowper. The XasTc. Book III. The Garden. 
* Vtopia. 'Nowhere,' in Greek; an imaginary island which is the 
seat of an ideal commonwealth in Sir Thomas More's political 
romance of the same name. It was published in Latin, in 1516, and 
entitled, De Optimo Beipublicm Statu, deque Ngvcf Insula Vtopia, 


To speak now of the reformation and reiglement^ 
of usury; howtlie discommodities of it may be best 
avoided, and the commodities retained. It appears 
by the balance of commodities and discommodities 
of usury, two things are to be reconciled. The one 
that the tooth of usury be grinded, that it bite not 
too much ; the other, that there be left open a 
means to invite monied men to lend to the mer- 
chants, for the continuing and quickening^ of trade. 
This cannot be done, except you introduce two 
several sorts of usury, a less and a greater. For if 
you reduce usury to one low rate, it will ease the 
common borrower, but the merchant will be to seek^ 
for money. And it is to be noted, that the trade of 
merchandize, being the most lucrative, may bear 
usury at a good rate : other contracts not so. 

To serve both intentions,* the way would be briefly 
thus. That there be two rates of usury ; the one 
free, and general for all; the other under licence 
only, to certain persons and in certain places of 
merchandizing. First therefore, let usury in gen- 
eral be reduced to five in the hundred ; and let that 
rate be proclaimed to be free and current ; and let 
the state shut itself out to take any penalty for the 
same. This will preserve borrowing from any gen- 
eral stop or dryness. This will ease infinite ^ bor- 

^ Reiglement (reglement) . Regulation. 

^ Quicken. To give life to. 

^ To seek, used adjectively, usually with he, as here. At a loss; 
withovt knowledge, influence, or resources. "I that have dealt so 
long in the fire, will not be to seek in smoke, now." Ben Jonson. 
Bartholomew Fair. ii. 1. 

* Intention. Object, purpose. 

'' Infinite. In hyperbolical use, very nrnch or many ; 'no end of.' 
Always in the plural. 


rowers in the country. This will, in good part, raise 
the price of land, because land purchased at sixteen 
years' purchase will yield six in the hundred, and 
somewhat more ; whereas this rate of interest yields 
but five. This by like reason will encourage and 
edge industrious and profitable improvements ; be- 
cause many will rather venture in that kind than 
take five in the hundred, especially having been used 
to greater profit. Secondly, let there be certain per- 
sons licensed to lend to known merchants upon 
usury at a higher rate ; and let it be with the cau- 
tions following. Let the rate be, even with the 
merchant himself, somewhat more easy than that he 
used formerly to pay ; for by that means all borrow- 
ers shall have some ease by this reformation, be he 
merchant, or whosoever. Let it be no bank or com- 
mon stock, but every man be master of his own 
money. Not that I altogether mislike ^ banks, but 
they will hardly be brooked, in regard ^ of certain 
suspicions. Let the state be answered ^ some smaU 
matter for the licence, and the rest left to the lender ; 
for if the abatement be but small, it will no whit dis- 
courage the lender. For he, for example, that took 
before ten or nine in the hundred, will sooner de- 
scend to eight in the hundred, than give over his 
trade of usury, and go from certain gains to gains 

1 MisUJce. To disliJce ; to disapprove of. 

"Mislike me not for my complexion." 

Shakspere. The Merchant of Venice, ii. 1. 

2 In regard 'of or 'to.' Out of consideration for. 

"I thank my liege that in regard of me 
He shortens four years of my son's exile." 
Shakspere. King Richard II. i. 3, 
^Answer. To repay; to pay. 


of hazard. Let these hcensed lenders be in number 
indefinite, but restrained to certain principal cities 
and towns of merchandizing ; for then they will be 
hardly able to colour ^ other men's monies in the 
country: so as the licence of nine will not suck 
away the current rate of five ; for no man will lend 
his monies far off, nor put them into unknown 

If it be objected that this doth in a sort author- 
ize usury, which before was in some places but per- 
missive ; the answer is, that it is better to mitigate 
usury by declaration, thaai to suffer it to rage by 

XLII. Op Youth and Age. 

A MAN that is young in years may be old in hours, 
if he have lost no time. But that happeneth rarely. 
Generally, youth is like the first cogitations, not so 
wise as the second. For there is a youth in thoughts, 
as well as in ages. And yet the invention of young 
men is more lively than that of old ; and imagina- 
tions stream into their minds better, and as it were 
more divinely. Natures that have much heat and great 
and violent desires and perturbations, are not ripe 
for action till they have passed the meridian of their 
years ; as it was with Julius Caesar, and Septimius 
Severus. Of the latter of whom it is said, Juventu- 

^ Colour. To represent or deal with the property of another as 
one's own. 


tem egit erroribus, imo furoribus, plenum} And yet 
he was the ablest emperor, almost, of aU the list. 
But reposed 2 natures may do weU in youth. As it 
is seen in Augustus Csesar, Cosmus Duke of Flor- 
ence, Gaston de Fois,^ and others. On the other 
side, heat and vivacity in age is an excellent com- 
position* for business. Young men are fitter to 
invent than to judge ; fitter for execution than for 
counsel ; and fitter for new projects than for settled 
business. For the experience of age, in things that 
fall within the compass of it, directeth them ; but in 
new things, abuseth ^ them. The errors of young 
men are the ruin of business ; but the errors of aged 
men amount but to this, that more might have been 
done, or sooner. Young men, in the conduct and 
manage " of actions, embrace more than they can 
hold ; stir more than they can quiet ; fly to the end, 
without consideration of the means and degrees ; 
pursue some few principles which they have chanced 

* He spent his youth in errors, nay rather, it was full of mad- 
nesses. Quoted with variations. "Juventam plenam furorum, non- 
nunquam et criminum habuit." Aeliue Spartianus. Life of Septi- 
mius Severua, Caput 2, in Augustae Historiae Scriptores. 

^ Reposed. Calm,, 

' Gaston de Fois, Duo de Nemours, 1489-1512, son of Jean de 
Fois, Vicomte de Narhonne and of Marie d' Orleans, sister of Louis 
XII., a celebrated French general. He commanded the French 
armies in Italy against the Spaniards, and was killed in the battle 
of Ravenna, in 1512. 

* Composition. Temperament. 

^ Abuse. To deceive, to lead astray. 

"The Devil hath power 
T' assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps. 
Out of my weakness and my melancholy, — 
As he is very potent with such spirits, — 
Abuses me to damn me." 

Shakspere. Hamlet, ii. 2. 
^Manage. Management. 

"I commit into your hands 
The husbandry and manage of my house." 

Shakspere, The Merchant of Tenice, Hi. 4, 


upon absurdly ; care ^ not to innovate, which draws 
unknown inconveniences ; use extreme remedies at 
first ; and that which doubleth all errors, will not 
acknowledge or retract them ; like an unready horse, 
that will neither stop nor turn. Men of age object 
too much, consult too long, adventure too little, re- 
pent too soon, and seldom drive business home to 
the full period,^ but content themselves with a medi- 
ocrity of success. Certainly it is good to compound 
employments of both ; for that will be good for the 
present, because the virtues of either age may correct 
the defects of both ; and good for succession, that 
young men may be learners, while men in age are 
actors ; and, lastly, good for extern ^ accidents, be- 
cause authority f olloweth old men, and favour and 
popularity youth. But for the moral part, perhaps 
youth will have the pre-eminence, as age hath for 
the politic. A certain rabbin, upon the text. Your 
young men shall see visions, and your old men shall 
dream dreams,* inferreth that young men are ad- 
mitted nearer to God than old, because vision is a 
clearer revelation than a dream. And certainly, the 
more a man drinketh of the world, the more it in- 
toxicateth : and age doth profit ^ rather in the powers 
of understanding, than in the virtues of the will and 
affections. There be some have an over-early ripe- 

^ Care not to innovate, are not careful how they innovate, that is 
to say, young men are incautious, heedless. 

2 Period,, Completion. 

^ Extern. External. 

• "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my 
Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall 
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall 
see visions." Joel ii. 28. 

^Profit. To improve. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself 
wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." I. Timothy iv. 15. 


ness in their years, whicli fadeth betimes. These 
are, first, such as have brittle wits, the edge whereof 
is soon turned ; such as was Hermogenes ^ the rhet- 
orician, whose books are exceeding subtle; who 
afterwards waxed stupid. A second sort is of those 
that have some natural dispositions which have bet- 
ter grace in youth than in age ; such as is a fluent 
and luxuriant speech ; which becomes youth well, 
but not age ; so Tully saith of Hortensius,^ Idem 
manebatj neque idem decebat? The third is of such as 
take too high a strain at the first, and are magnani- 
mous more than tract ^ of years can uphold. As 
was.Seipio AfricanuSj^ of whom Livy ^ saith in effect, 
Ultima primis ctdehmiV 

^ Hermogenes, of Tarsus, in Cilicia, lived in the second half of the 
second century, a.d. He was a noted Greek rhetorician, and is said 
to have lost his memory at the age of twenty-five. 

2 Quintus Hortensius, 114 — 50 B.C., an eminent Roman orator 
and contemporary of Cicero, who said of him: "Sed quum iam 
honor es et ilia senior auctoritas gravius guiddam requireret, re- 
manehat idem nee decebat idem." Marcus Tullius Cicero. Brutus, 
Caput 95. 

^ He remained the same, but the same was no longer becoming. 
Vivacity which increases with age is little short of folly. La 
vivacit4 qui augmente en vieilUssant ne va pas loin de la folie. 
Maximes et BSfiexions Morales du due de La Rochefoucauld. 416. 

* Tract. Course. 

"My fancies all be fledde: 
And tract of time begins to weave, 
Gray heares upon my hedde." 
TotteVs Miscellany. The aged lover renounceth love. Thomas 
Lord Vaux. This is the ballad from which Shakspere took the 
gravedigger's song in Hamlet, v. 1. 

''Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major, 234-183 (?) B.C., a 
great Roman general, who defeated the Carthaginians under Hanni- 
bal in the battle of Zama, 202 B.C. 

® Titus Livius, 59 B.C. to 17 a.d., a great Roman historian. He 
wrote a history of Rome, from the founding of the city to the 
death of the Roman general Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of 
Tiberius, 9 B.C. The work consisted of 142 books, of which 35 
are extant, 1—10, and 21—45. 

"^ The last fell short of the first. Bacon's three Latin words con- 
dense fourteen of Livy's. "Vir m,em.ordbilis, bellicis tamen quam 
pads artibus memordbilior, prima pars vitae quam postrema fuit." 


XLIII. Of Beauty. 

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set ; and 
surely virtue is best in a body that is comely, 
though not of delicate features; and that hath 
rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. 
Neither is it almost^ seen, that very beautiful per- 
sons are otherwise of great virtue ; as if nature were 
rather busy not to err, than in labour to produce 
excellency.^ And therefore they prove accom- 
plished, but not of great spirit ; and study rather 
behaviour than virtue. But this holds not always : 
for Augustus Caesar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le 
Bel^ of France, Edward the fourth* of England, 
Alcibiades^ of Athens, Ismael the Sophy ^ of Persia, 
were all high and great spirits ; and yet the most 

T. Livii Patavini Hiatoriarum Ab Vrbe Condita Liber XXXYIII. 
Caput 53. He probably recollected the thought, "in effect," not 
from Livy, but from Ovid: 

"Goepiati melius, quam desinis : ultima primis 
Cedunt :" 
P. Ovidii Nasonia Heroides. Epistola IX. Deianira Herculi. 

"Alonso of Arragon was "wont to say, in commendation of age, That 
age appeared to be best in four things: Old wood to burn; old wine 
to drink; old friends to trust; and old authors to read." Bacon. 
Apophthegmes New and Old. 97 (75). 

^ Almost. For the most part. 

^Excellency. Excellence. "Ascribe ye strength unto God: his 
excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds." Psalms 
Ixviii. 34. 

' Philippe le Bel, 'Philip the Fair,' Philippe IV. of the House of 
Capet, 1268-1314, King of France from 1285 to 1314. 

• Edward IV., 1441-1483, King of England, 1461-1483. 

'■ Alcibiades, 450(?)— 404 B.C., an Athenian politician and gen- 
eral, nephew of Pericles. He was rich, handsome, accomplished, and 
an admirable orator, but reckless and unsteady in character. 

"Ismail I., Shah (Sophy) of Persia, 1487-1524, founder of the 
Suffarian dynasty. 


beautiful men of their times. In beauty, that of 
favour^ is more than that of coloui-; and 
that of decent 2 and gracious^ motion more than 
that of favour. That is the best part of beauty, 
which a picture cannot express ; no nor the first 
sight of life. There is no excellent beauty that 
hath not some strangeness in the proportion. A 
man cannot tell whether Apelles^ or Albert Durer^ 
were the more® trifler ; whereof the one would make 
a personage by geometrical proportions ; the other, 
by taking the best parts out of divers'^ faces, to 

1 Favor. Features, looks, a f ossiliferous sense of favor, sur- 
viving in 'hard-favored,' that is, 'hard-looking,' 'ugly.* He favors 
his father means 'he looks like his father.' So 'kissing goes by 
favor' means by 'looks,' not by 'preference,' as is commonly under- 

^Decent. Fit, becoming. *'Let all things be done decently and in 
order." I. Corinthians xiv. 40. 

^ Gracious, Graceful. 

"My gracious silence, hail." 

Coriolanus. ii. 1. 
It is Coriolanus's greeting to his wife, Virgilia, on his return from 

* Apelles, a celebrated Greek painter of the time of Philip and 
Alexander of Macedon, 4th century B.C. His most famous picture 
was the Aphrodite Anadyomene, 'Venus rising from the sea.' 
Both Cicero and Pliny tell us that the Greek painter of a composite 
face Bacon alludes to here was not Apelles, but Zeuxis, who was 
probably a native of Heraclea (Magna Graecia), and lived from 
420 to 390 B.C. According to Cicero, when Zeuxis was commis- 
sioned to paint a picture of Helena for the temple of Juno Lacinia 
at Croton, he was allowed, at his own request, the presence of five 
of the most beautiful maidens of Croton, "ut mutuTn in simulacrum 
ex animali exemplo Veritas transfer atur," that he might transfer the 
truth of life to a mute image. M. Tullii Ciceronis Rhetoricorum seu 
De Inventione Rhetorica Liber II. 2, 3. Compare, C. Plinii Se- 
cundi Naturalis Historiae Liber XXXV. 36. ix. 

^ Albrecht Diirer, 1471—1528, a famous German painter, designer 
of woodcuts, and engraver. He wrote a book on human proportions, 
Hierinnen sind begriffen vier BilcKer von menschlicker Proportion. 
( Nuremberg. 1528.) 

® More. Greater. 

"^ Divers. Many. "And if I send them away fasting to their own 
houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from 
far." Mark viii. 3. 

Oi"' BEAUTY 199 

make one excellent. Such personages, I think, 
would please nobody but the painter that made 
them. Not but I think a painter may make a 
better face than ever was ; but he must do it by a 
kind of felicity,^ (as a musician that maketh an ex- 
cellent air in music,) and not by rule. A man shall 
see faces, that if you examine them part by part, 
you shall find neyer a good ; and yet altogether do 
well. If it be true that the principal part of beauty 
is in decent motion, certainly it is no marvel though 
persons in years seem many times more amiable ; 
pulchrorum autumnus pulcJier ;^ for no youth can be 
comely but by pardon, and considering the youth 
as to make up the comeliness. Beauty is as sum- 
mer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot 
last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute 
youth, and an age a little out of countenance ; but 
yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue 
shine, and vices blush. 

^ felicitate quadam et casu. Keats seems to have felt that this is 
true also with regard to his own art : — 

"When I behold upon the night's starred face 
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, 
And think that I may never live to trace 

Their shadows, with the jnagic hand of chance." 
Life, Letters, i&c. of John Keats, vol. ii. p. 293. S. 

^The autumn of the beautiful is beautiful. A thought from 
Euripides, quoted in the beginning of Plutarch's Life of Aldbiades. 
*'Euripides would say of persons that were beautiful, and yet in 
some years. In fair todies not only the spring is pleasant, but also 
the autumn." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 145. 

The spiritual beauty of old age as one sees it in the faces of old 
men and women who have lived good lives is nowhere so finely 
described as by Edmund Wallers 

"The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd, 
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made." 

Edmund Waller. Old Age. 


XLrV. Op Defoemity.1 

Deformed persons are commonly even witli na- 
ture, for as nature hath done ill hy them, so do 
they by nature ; being for the most part (as the 
Scripture saith) void of natural affection;^ and so 
they have their revenge of nature. Certainly there 
is a consent ^ between the body and the mind ; and 
where nature erreth in the one, she ventureth in 
the other. Ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altera. 
But because there is in man an election touching 
the frame of his mind, and a necessity in the frame 
of his body, the stars of natural inclination are 
sometimes obscured by the sun of discipline and 
virtue. Therefore it is good to consider of de- 
formity, not as a sign, which is more deceivable ; * 
but as a cause, which seldom faileth of the effect. 
Whosoever hath any thing fixed in his person that 
doth induce contempt, hath also a perpetual spur 
in himself to rescue and deliver himself from scorn. 

* Nicholas Chamberlain wrote to Sir Dudley Carleton, December 
17, 1612, "Sir Francis Bacon hath set out new Essays, where in a 
chapter of Deformity, the world takes notice that he paints out his 
little cousin [Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury] to the life." Court and 
Times of James I. I. 214. ed. 1848. 

^ "Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural 
affection, implacable, unmerciful." Somans i. 31. 

' Consent. Agreement. "For then will I turn to the people a 
pure languages that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to 
serve him witB one consent." Zephaniah Hi. 9. 

* Deceivable. Deceptive, passive form with active sense. 

"There 's something in 't 
That is deceivable." 

ShaJcspere, Twelfth Night, iv. S. 


Therefore all deformed persons are extreme ^ bold. 
First, as in their own defence, as being exposed to 
scorn ; but in process of time by a general habit. 
Also it stirreth in them industry, and especially 
of this kind, to watch and observe the weakness of 
others, that they may have somewhat to repay. 
Again, in their superiors, it quencheth jealousy to- 
wards them, as persons that they think they may at 
pleasure despise : and it layeth their competitors and 
emulators asleep; as never believing they should 
be in possibility of advancement, tiU they see them 
in possession. So that upon the matter,^ in a great 
wit, deformity is an advantage to rising. Kings in 
ancient times (and at this present in some countries) 
were wont^ to put great trust in eunuchs ; because 
they that are envious towards all are more obnoxi- 
ous* and of&cious towards one. But yet their trust 
towards them hath rather been as to good spials^ 
and good whisperers, than good magistrates and 
officers. And much like is the reason of deformed 
persons. Still the ground is, they will, if they be 
of spirit, seek to free themselves from scorn ; which 
must be either by virtue or malice ; " and therefore 
let it not be marvelled' if sometimes they prove ex- 

^ Extreme, Extremely. 

' Matter. Whole ; 'upon tlie matter' means 'on the whole.' 

* Wont. Accustomed. 

* Obnoxious. Submissive. 
° Spials (espials) . Spies. 

"The Prince's 'spials have informed me." 

Shakspere. I. King Henry YI. i. 4. 

* Malice. Vice. "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old 
leSven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with 
the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." I. Corinthians v. 8. 

' Marvel. To wonder at. "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world 
hate you." /. John Hi. 13, 


cellent persons ; as was Agesilaus/ Zanger^ the son 
of Solyman, -^sop, Gasca^ President of Peru; and 
Socrates* may go likewise amongst them; with 

^Agesilaus II., King of Sparta from 398 to 361 B.C. He was a 
man of small stature and lame from his birth, hut he developed into * 
a vigorous ruler and great general. 

2 Zanger. JAhangif, Tzihanger, Djangir, Zangir, or Zanger (as 
the name is variously spelled), *the Crooked,' was the son of Soly- 
man the Magnificent and Roxalana. Bacon probably read his story 
in Richard Knolles's Generall Historie of the Turkes, etc. 1603. 
There it is to the effect that after Solyman, at the instigation of the 
Sultana Roxalana, had put to death Mustapha, his son by another 
wife, he bade Zanger go to meet his brother. When Zanger saw 
his brother lying on the ground strangled, he foresaw his own 
probable fate, and resolved to anticipate it. He refused to inherit 
Mustapha's property and position, and committed suicide, much to 
his father's grief. 

8 Pedro de la Gasca, 1485—1561, President of the Royal Audience 
of Peru, 1546 to 1550, and conqueror of Gonzalo Pizarro, in 1548; 
for his services in restoring peace and ordered government in Peru, 
Gasca upon his return to Spain was raised to the bishopric of 
Palencia, and subsequently to that of Siguenza. Prescott in the 
Conquest of Peru compares the character of Gasca 'with that of 
Washington. "Gasca," says Prescott, "was plain in person, and 
his countenance was far from comely. He was awkward and ill- 
proportioned ; for his limbs were too long for his body, — so that 
when he rode he appeared to be much shorter than he really was." 
History of the Conquest of Peru. W. R. Prescott. Booh V. Chapter 

* Socrates, 470-399 B.C., a famous Greek pbilosopher. He is 
the chief character in the Dialogues of Plato, one of his pupils, and 
is the subject of the Memorabilia of Xenophon, another pupil. His 
personal appearance was so odd and ugly that he was caricatured 
by the comic dramatists of his time. 


XLV. Of Building.^ 

Houses are built to live in, and not to look on ; 
therefore let use be preferred^ before uniformity, 
except where both may be had. Leave the goodly 
fabrics of houses, for beauty only, to the enchanted 
palaces of the poets; who build them with small 
cost. He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat,^ 
committeth himself to prison. Neither do I reckon 
it an ill seat only where the air is unwholesome ; 
but likewise where the air is unequal ; as you shall 
see many fine seats set upon a knap* of ground, 
environed with higher hills round about it ; where- 
by the heat of the sun is pent in, and the wind 
gathereth as in troughs ; so as^ you shaU have, and 
that suddenly, as great diversity of heat and cold 
as if you dwelt in several places. Neither is it ill^ 
air only that maketh an ill seat, but iU ways, 

^ By the death of his brother, Anthony, in 1601, Bacon inherited 
his father's manor of Gorhambury, near St. Albans, Herts. There, 
after his marriage, in 1606, he built a new country residence of 
great dimensions, Verulam House, spending on the mansion and 
gardens vastly more money than he could afford. In this and the 
following essay. Of Gardens, Bacon therefore writes from an actual 
experience of building a country house. 

^ Preferred before. The verb prefer is now followed by the prepo- 
sition to, 

2 Seat. Site. 

* Knap. A small hill, hillock, or knoll. 

" 'Now, where 's the inn ?' said Mountclere, yawning. 
'Just on the knap,* Sol answered." 
Thomas Hardy. The Hand of Ethelberta. Chapter XLIV. 
' A.S. That. 
' III. Bad. 


ill markets : and, if you will consult with Momus/ ill 
neighbours. I speak not of many more ; want of 
water ; want of wood, shade, and shelter ; want of 
fruitfulness, and mixture ^ of grounds of several 
natures ; want of prospect ; want of level grounds ; 
want of places at some near distance for sports of 
hunting, hawking, and races ; too near the sea, too re- 
mote ; having the commodity of navigable rivers,^ 
or the discommodity of their overflowing; too far 
off from great cities, which may hinder business, or 
too near them, which lurcheth* all provisions, and 
maketh every thing dear ; where a man hath a great 
living laid together, and where he is scanted : ^ all 
which, as it is impossible perhaps to find together, 
so it is good to know them, and think of them, that 
a man may take as many as he can ; and if he have 
several dwellings, that he sort^ them so, that what 

^ MomuS, in Greek mythology, is a god personifying censure and 
mockery. According to Hesiod, he is the son of Night, the sleepy 
god. Bacon has in mind the fable of Aesop (.Aesopi fabulae Graeco- 
latinae, 193), which relates that Zeus made a bull, Prometheus, a 
man, and Athena, a house. Momus was called upon to decide which 
was the best creation, and objected to all three. The bull, he said, 
should have its horns below its eyes in order to see where to strike; 
man should have a window in his breast so that his thoughts could 
be seen ; and a house should be built on wheels, so as to be easily 
and quickly rolled away from uncomfortable neighbors. Bacon ex- 
plains Momus's window of the heart in the Advancement of Learn- 
ing, II. xxiii. 14. 

' Bacon means 'want of mixture,' the construction of 'want' 
going on to the semicolon. 

' So in the original, and also in Ed. 1639. It seems as if not 
had dropped out; or as if the should be no. The translation has 
commoditas nulla fluviorum navigabilium. S. 

* Lurch. To absorb ; to monopolize. 

° Scant. To limit; to stint. 

°Sort. To choose, select, pick out. 

"Nurse, will you go with me into my closet, 
To help me sort such needful ornaments 
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow?" 

Shakspere. Romeo and Juliet, iv. g. 


he wanteth in the one he may find in the other. 
Lucullus answered Pompey well ; who, when he saw 
his stately galleries, and rooms so large and light- 
some, in one of his houses, said. Surely an excellent 
place for summer, hut hem do you in winter ? Lucullus 
answered. Why, do you not think me as mse as some 
fowl are, that ever change their abode towards the 
winter f^ 

To pass from the seat to the house itself ; we will 
do as Cicero doth in the orator's art ; who writes 
books De Oratore, and a book he entitles Orator ; 
whereof the former delivers the precepts of the art, 
and the latter the perfection. We will therefore 
describe a princely palace, making a brief model 
thereof. For it is strange to see, now in Europe, 
such huge buildings as the Vatican^ and BscuriaP 
and some others be, and yet scarce a very fair* room 
in them. 

First therefore, I say you cannot have a perfect 

1 "He had also fine seats in Tusculiim, belvideres, and large open 
balconies for men's apartments, and porticos to walk in, where 
Pompey coming to see him, blamed him for making a house which 
would be pleasant in summer, but uninhabitable in winter ; whom 
he answered with a smile; 'You think me, then, less provident than 
cranes and storks, not to change my home with the seasons.* " Plu- 
tarch. Life of Lucullus. Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men, 
Translated from the Greek by John Bryden and Others. 

' The Vatican, on the Vatican hill, in Rome, is a vast palace 
which has been the chief residence of the Pope, since the popes 
returned from Avignon, in 1377. Besides the papal apartments 
and offices, it contains the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican library 
and art galleries. 

' The Escurial is a celebrated building situated twenty-seven 
miles northwest of Madrid, and containing a library, a monastery, 
a palace, a church, and a mausoleum for the Kings of Spain. It 
was built by Philip II., in 1563-1584. 

* Vair. Beautiful. 

"If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright, 
Go visit it by the pale moonlight." 
Scott. The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto II. 1. 


palace, except you have two severaP sides ; a side 
for the banquet,^ as is spoken of in the book of 
Hester^^ and a side for the household ; the one for 
feasts and triumphs, and the other for dwelling. I 
understand both these sides to be not only returns/ 
but parts of the front ; and to be uniform without, 
though severally partitioned within ; and to be on 
both sides of a great and stately tower in the midst 
of the front, that, as it were, joineth them together 
on either hand. I would have on the side of the 
banquet, in front, one only goodly room above stairs, 
of some forty f oot^ high ; and under it a room for a 
dressing or preparing place at times of triumphs. 
On the other side, which is the household side, I 
wish it divided at the first into a haU and a chapel, 
(with- a partition between;) both of good state and 
bigness ; and those not to go aU the length, but to 
have at the further end a winter and a summer 
parlour, both fair. And under these rooms, a fair 
and large cellar sunk under ground ; and likewise 
some privy kitchens, with butteries and pantries, 
and the like. As for the tower, I would have it two 
stories, of eighteen foot high a piece, above the two 

^ Several. Separate; individual; not common to two or more. 
"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was 
of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were 
transparent glass." Revelation xxi. 21. 

2 Banquet. Banquet or dining hall. 

' Esther i, the feast ef King Ahasuerus in Shushan the palace. 

* Return. In architecture, the continuation of a molding, pro- 
jection, etc., in an opposite or different direction; also, a side or 
part that falls away from the front of any straight worlc. As a 
feature of a molding, it is usual at the termination of the drip- 
stone or hood of a window or door. 

' Forty foot high. Foot as a term of measure is often in the 
gin^ar when preceded by numerals. 


wings ; and a goodly leads ^ upon the top, railed 
with statua's interposed ; and the same tower to be 
divided into rooms, as shall be thought fit. The 
stairs likewise to the upper rooms, let them be upon 
a fair open neweP and finely railed in with images 
of wood, cast into a brass colour ; and a very fair 
landing-place at the top. But this to be, if you do 
not point^ any of the lower rooms for a dining place 
of servants. For otherwise you shall have the ser- 
vants' dinner after your own : for the steam of it will 
come up as in a tunnel. And so much for the front. 
Only I understand the height of the first stairs to be 
sixteen foot, which is the height of the lower room. 
Beyond this front is there to be a fair court,* but 
three sides of it, of a far lower buUding than the 
front. And in aU the four corners of that court 
fair staircases, cast into turrets, on the outside, and 

^ Leads. The sheets or strips of lead used to cover a roof. 
"If Fairford's journey had been hitherto in a stifled and sub- 
terranean atmosphere, it was now open, lofty, and airy enough; 
for he had to follow his guide over leads and slates, which the old 
smuggler traversed with the dexterity of a cat." Scott. Red- 
gauntlet. XIII. 

^ Newel. The newel of a winding stair is the upright pillar 
round which the steps turn, and by which they are supported from 
the bottom to the top. An 'open,' or hollow, 'newel' is the central 
or open space or well in a winding stair. 

3 Point. To appoint. 

"The souldier may not move from watchful sted, 
Nor leave his stand, untill his captaine bed. 
Who life doth limit by almightie doome 
(Quoth he) knowes best the termes established; 
And he, that points the centonell his roome. 
Doth license him depart at sound of morning droome.'' 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Boole I. Canto ix. Stanza 41. 
* In his edition of the Essays, Mr. S. H. Beynolds suggests that 
the "fair court" Bacon describes may be the Great Court of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. The plan of the Great Court, "with a cross" 
and four grass plots, was the work of Thomas Nevile, Master of 
Trinity College from 1593 to 1615. Bacon took his M.A. degree at 
Cambridge July 27, 1594, and represented the University in Parlia- 
ment in 1614. 


not within the row of buildings themselves. But 
those towers are not to be of the height of the front, 
but rather proportionable to the lower building. 
Let the court not- be paved, for that striketh up a 
great heat in summer, and much cold in winter. 
But only some side alleys, with a cross, and the 
quarters to graze, being kept shorn, but not too near 
shorn. The row of return on the banquet side, let 
it be all stately galleries: in which galleries let 
there be three, or five, fine cupolas in the length of 
it, placed at equal distance ; and fine coloured win- 
dows of several works. On the household side, 
chambers of presence^ and ordinary entertainments, 
with some bed-chambers ; and let all three sides be 
a double house, without thorough lights on the 
sides, that you may have rooms from the sun, both 
for forenoon and afternoon. Cast ^ it also, that you 
may have rooms both for summer and winter; 
shady for summer, and warm for winter. You shall 
have sometimes fair houses so full of glass, that one 
cannot tell where to become^ to be out of the sun or 
cold. For inbowed'' windows, I hold them of good 

^ Chamber of presence, or presence-chaTtiber. The room in which 
a great personage receives company. 
^ Cast. To plan ; to devise. 

"Therefore to cherish him with diets daint, 
She cast to bring him, where he chearen might, 
Till he recovered had his late decayed plight." 
Spenser. The Faery Queene. Book I. Canto x. Stanza 2. 
^ Become. To come to a place, to arrive ; passing, later, into to 
betake one's self, to go. 

"I cannot joy, until I be resolved 
Where our right valiant father is hecome." 

Shakspere. III. King Henry 71. ii. i. 
*Inbowed. Embowed ; a bow-window or bay-window is a window 
that 'bows' or projects outwards, on the ground floor, forming a kind 
of 'bay' within. Bacon probably refers here to oriel windows, which 
are bow-windows projecting from an upper story. 


use ; (in cities, indeed, upright do better, iu respect 
of the nniformity towards the street;) for they be 
pretty retiring places for conference ; and besides, 
they keep both the wind and sun off; for that 
which would strike almost thorough the room doth 
scarce pass the window. But let them be but few, 
four in the court, on the sides only. 

Beyond this court let there be an inward ^ court, 
of the same square and height ; which is to be envi- 
roned with the garden on aU sides ; and in the in- 
side, cloistered on all sides, upon decent and beau- 
tiful arches, as high as the first story. On the under 
story, towards the garden, let it be turned to a 
grotta, or place of shade, or estivation.^ And only 
have opening and windows towards the garden; 
and be level upon the floor, no whit sunken under 
ground, to avoid all dampishness. And let there be 
a fountain, or some fair work of statua's in the 
midst of this court ; and to be paved as the other 
court was. These buUdings to be for privy lodg- 
ings on both sides ; and the end for privy galleries. 
Whereof you must foresee that one of them be for 
an infirmary, if the prince or any special person 
should be sick, with chambers, bed-chamber, ante- 
camera,^ and recamera,^ joining to it. This upon the 
second story. Upon the ground story, a fair gal- 
lery, open, upon pUlars; and upon the third story 

^Inward. Inner. "For which cause we faint not; but though 
our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by 
day." //. Corinthians iv. 16. 

2 Estivation, or aestivation. The passing or spending of the 
summer; a summer retreat or residence. 

^ Antecamera. Antechamber. 

*Reeamera, A hack chamber; retiring-room. 


likewise, an open gallery, npon pillars, to take the 
prospect and freshness of the garden. At both cor- 
ners of the further side, by way of return, let there 
be two delicate or rich cabinets, daintily paved, 
richly hanged, glazed with crystalline glass, and a 
rich cupola in the midst; and all other elegancy 
that may be thought upon. In the upper gallery 
too, I wish that there may be, if the place wiU yield 
it, some fountains running in divers places from the 
wall, with some fine avoidances.^ And thus much 
for the model of the palace ; save that you must 
have, before you come to the front, three courts. A 
green court plain, with a wall about it ; a second 
court of the same, but more garnished, with little 
turrets, or rather embellishments, upon the wall; 
and a third court, to make a square with the front, 
but not to be built, nor yet enclosed with a naked 
waU, but enclosed with tarrasses, leaded ^ aloft, and 
fairly garnished, on the three sides ; and cloistered 
on the inside, with pillars, and not with arches 
below. As for oflces, let them stand at distance, 
with some low galleries, to pass from them to the 
place itself. 

^ Avoidances. Outlets. 

* Leaded. Covered with lead. 


XL VI. Of Gardens. 

GrOD Almighty first planted a Garden. And 
indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the 
greatest refreshment to the spirits of man ; ^ without 
which buildings and palaces are but gross handy- 
works: and a man shall ever see that when ages 
grow to civility ^ and elegancy,' men come to build 
stately sooner than to garden finely ; as if gardening 
were the greater perfection. I do hold it, in the 
royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens 
for aU the months in the year ; in which severally 
things * of beauty may be then in season. For De- 
cember, and January, and the latter part of Novem- 
ber, you must take such things as are green all win- 
ter : hoUy ; ivy ; bays ; juniper ; cypress-trees ; yew ; 
pine-apple-trees ; fir-trees ; rosemary ; lavender ; ^ 

"Friends, books, a garden, and perliaps his pen. 
Delightful industry enjoy'd at home. 
And Nature, in her cultivated trim 
Dress'd to his taste, inviting him abroad — 
Can he want occupation who has these?" 

Cowper. The Task. Booh III. The Garden, 

2 Civility. Civilization. 
^ Elegancy. Blegance. 
* "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." 

John Keats. Endymion. Line 1. 

' Lavender. One of the Labiatae or mints, Lavandula Vera, a 
small shrub with small pale lilac-colored flowers, and narrow oblong 
or lanceolate leaves. It is a native of the south of Europe and 
northern Africa, but is extensively cultivated in other countries for 
its perfume. 

"Here 's flowers for you; 
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram; 
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' th' sun 
And with him rises weeping; these are flowers 
Of middle summer." 

Shakspere, The Winter's Tale. iv. 3. 


periwinkle, the wliite, the purple, and the blue; 
germander ;i flags; orange-trees; lemon-trees; 
and myrtles, if they be stoved ; ^ and sweet mar- 
joram, warm set. There foUoweth, for the latter 
part of January and February, the mezereon-tree ^ 
which then blossoms ; crocus vernus, both the yel- 
low and the grey ; primroses ; anemones ; the early 
tulippa ; hyacynthus orientalis ; * chamairis ; ^ fritel- 
laria.* For March, there come violets, specially the 
single blue, which are the earliest ; the yeUow daf- 
fodil; the daisy; the almond-tree in blossom; the 
peach-tree in blossom ; the cornelian-tree '' in blos- 
som ; sweet-briar. In April follow, the double white 
violet ; the wall-flower ; the stock-giUiflower ; ® the 

^ Germander. A plant of the genus Teucrium, as Teucrium 
Canade-nse, American germander, or -wood sage. Bacon probably 
means the Teucrium Scorodonia, or wood germander, which was cul- 
tivated in old English gardens. Its blossoms are yellowish-white, in 
terminal racemes. 

' Stove. To keep warm in a house or room hy artificial heat; as, 
to 'stove' orange trees. 

3 Mezereon-tree. The Mezereum is a species of small erect or 
trailing shrubs of the order Thymeleaceae. The best known repre- 
sentative of the family in cultivation is Daphne Mezereum, a small 
shrub with sweet wnite flowers that bloom in December in green- 

^Eyacinthus orientalis. The common hyacinth, which came 
originally from the Levant. 

'Chamairis. There are but two irises native to England, and 
one of them is an aquatic plant. The other one. Iris VoetidAssima, 
may be what is called here chamairis; it is a blue iris. Possibly 
chamairis is Iris Reticulata, one of the earliest irises cultivated in 
England. But the Elizabethans cultivated many varieties of iris. 

' Fritellaria. A genus of liliaceous plants, the best known species 
of which are the Crown Imperial (Fritellaria Imperialis), and the 
Common Fritellary or Snakeshead (Fritellaria Meleagris) , England. 
The Crown Imperial is a native of Persia, and was introduced 
into the royal garden at Vienna about 1576. It is said to have 
arrived in England shortly afterwards. It was therefore a new 
flower to both Bacon and Shakspere, and they could only have 
Been it in some choice garden. 

^ Cornelian-tree. The cornel-tree, or cornelian cherry. 

' Stock-gilliflower, This is the White StocTc (Matthiola Incana). 


cowslip ; flower-de-lices,^ and lilies of all natures ; 
rosemary-flowers; the tulippa; the double piony; 
the pale daffodil; the French honeysuckle; the 
cherry-tree in blossom ; the dammasin ^ and plum- 
trees in blossom ; ^ the white thorn in leaf; the 
lilac-tree. In May and June come pinks of all 
sorts, specially the blush-pink ; roses of all kinds, 
except the musk, which comes later ; honey- 
suckles; strawberries; bugloss; columbine; the 
French marigold ; flos Africanus ; ^ cherry-tree in 

^ "Now, my fair'st friend, 

I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might 

Become your time of day; — and yours, and yours. 

That wear upon your virgin branches yet 

Tour maidenhoods growing: — O Proserpina, 

For th' flowers now, that, frighted, thou lett'st fall 

From Dis's wagon I golden daffodils. 

That come before the swallow dares, and take 

The winds of March with beauty; violets dim, 

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes 

Or Cytherea's breath ; pale primroses, 

That die unmarried, ere they can behold 

Bright Phoebus in his strength, — a malady 

Most incident to maids ; bold oxlips and 

The crown-imperial; lilies of all kinds, 

The flower-de-luce being one I" 

Shakspere. The Winter's Tale, iv, 3. 

Flower-de-lices. Since both Bacon and Shakspere refer to the 
flower-de-luce as a lily, it is clear that for them the iris had not 
yet wholly appropriated the name. Their fleur-de-lis may have been 
the same as Ghajicer's, the LUium, Candidum; the common white 
lily. "His nekke whit was as the flour-de-iys," Chaucer writes of 
the singing friar. The Prologue. 238. 

2 Dammasin. The damson plum-tree. The damson is a small 
black or dark purple plum, the fruit of Prunus Communis, or Do- 
mestica. The particular variety, Damascena, was introduced in 
very early times into Greece and Italy from Syria. 

"Gloster. Mass, thou lovedst plums well, that wouldst venture so. 
Simpcox. Alas, good master, my wife desired some damsons. 
And made me climb, with danger of my life." 

Shakspere. 11. King Henry YI. ii. 1. 

3 Flos Africanus. The Latin translation reads Flos Africanus, 
simplex et multiplex, and omits "the French marigold." It would 
seem then that by Flos Africanus, or 'African flower,' Bacon meant 
the African marigold (Tagetes Freda) ; the French marigold is 
Tagetes Patula. Or possibly, the French marigold was called the 


fruit J ribes ; ^ figs in fruit ; ra^ps ; ^ vine-flowers ; 
lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian,^ with 
the white flowers; herba muscaria;* lilium con- 
vallium;^ the apple-tree in blossom. In July 
come gilliflowers of all varieties; musk-roses ; 
the lime-tree in blossom; early pears and plums 
in fruit ; genitings,® quadlins.'^ In August come 
plums of all sorts in fruit ; pears ; apricocks ; ^ 

•African flower' in Bacon's time, and the modern punctuation is at 
fault. Shakspere's "marigold that goes to bed wi' th' sun" was a 
different flower, Calendula Officinalis, one of the Compositae. It is 
a common flower in country gardens, of a deep yellow color; the 
name, Calend/ula, means 'little calendar,* or 'little weather-glass,' 
referring to its opening with the sun and shutting with the dew. 

^ Eibes. Currants. 

^ Hasps, Raspberries. 

^ Satyrian. Sacyreia Hortensis, or Summer Savory, a low and homely 
sweet herb, with pale or purplish flowers. Like lavender, sweet mar- 
joram, and other aromatic herbs, it is used in English gardens in mass 
to fill a border. The border in an English garden needs to be filled, 
because it is not the mere edge of a flower-bed ; it is a strip of ground, 
often several feet mde, forming a fringe to the general area within 
laid out in flower-plots, or otherwise, and separated from it by a path. 

* Eerba musearia. Muscari Botryoides, the Grape-Hyacinth, or 
Globe-Hyacinth, of the Lily family, a common little garden flower of 
early spring, with a dense raceme of dark blue flowers, like a minute 
cluster of grapes. It is now naturalized in the United States. 

^Lilium convalUum. The convall lily, convally; lily of the valley. 

* Jenneting. Genitings. Apparently from the French Jean or 
Jeannet, in poTrume de Saint-Jean, "S. John's apple, a kind of soone- 
ripe Sweeting." Cotgrave. A kind of early apple. 

"Yet, tho' I spared thee all the spring, 
Thy sole delight is, sitting still, 
With that cold dagger of thy bill. 
To fret the summer jenneting." 

Tennyson. The Blackbird. Stanza 3. 

"^ Quadlin, or Codling, codlin. The codling is a variety of apple 
in shape elongated and rather tapering towards the eye, having 
several sub-varieties, as Kentish codling, Keswick codling. "As a 
squash is before 't is a peascod, or a codling when 't is almost an 
apple." Shakspere. Twelfth Night, i. 5. 

^ Apricocks. The fruit of the apricot, Prunus Armeniaca, or 
Armenian Plum. It is roundish-oval in shape, orange- colored, and 
has a delicious flavor. 

'Feed him with apricocks and dewberries. 
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries." 

Shakspere. A. Midsummer-Night's Dream. Hi. l. 


berberries ; ^ filberds ; musk-melons ; monks-hoods,^ 
of all colours. In September come grapes ; apples ; 
poppies of all colours ; peaches j melocotones ; ^ 
nectarines;* cornelian^; wardeng;^ quinces. In 
October, and the beginning of November come ser- 
vices;® medlars j*^ bullaces;^ roses cut or removed 
to come late ; hoUy-oaks ; ^ and such like. These 

^Berberry. The barberry (Berberis Vulgaris), oommonly 
spelled and pronounced 'barberry.' It is a shrub that is found native 
in Europe and North America, with spiny shoots, and pendulous 
racemes of small yellow flowers, succeeded by oblong, red, sharply 
acid berries. 

^Monk's-hood. Aconite, of the Ranunculaceae, or Crowfoot 
family. In England monk's-hood is especially Aconitum NapeUus, 
which is also called friar's-cap, fox-bane, helmet-flower, Jacob's 
chariot and wolf's-bane. Gray records two American aconites, 
Aconitum TJncinatum, or Wild Monk's-hood, with blue flowers, and 
Aconitum Beclinatum, or Trailing Wolf's-bane, with white flowers. 

^ Melocotone. Melocoton, or Melocotoon, a large kind of peach. 
"A wife here with a strawberry breath, cherry lips, apricot cheeks, 
and a soft, velvet head, like a melicotton." Ben Jonson. Bartholo- 
mew Fair. i. 1. 

* Nectarine. A variety of the common peach, from which its 
fruit differs only in having a rind devoid of down, and a firmer 
pulp. Both fruits are sometimes found growing on the same tree. 

^ Wardens. The warden is a large pear used chiefly for roast- 
ing or baking. Cotgrave defined this pear as "poire de garde, a 
warden, or winter peare, a peare which may be kept verie long." 
"I must have saffron to colour the warden-pies." 

Shalcspere. The Winter's Tale. iv. 2. 

° Services. The fruit of Pyrus (Sorbus) Domestica, a tree that 
belongs to continental Europe. It grows from twenty "to sixty feet 
high, has leaves like those of the mountain ash or rowan tree, and 
bears a small pear-shaped or apple-shaped fruit, which, like the 
medlar, is pleasant only in an over-ripe condition. 

"^ Medlars. The fruit of the medlar, a small bushy tree, Mespilus 
Germanica, related to the crab-apple, cultivated in gardens for its 
fruit. The fruit resembles a small, brown-skinned apple, but with 
a broad disk at the summit surrounded by the remains of the calix 
lobes. When first gathered, it is harsh and uneatable, but in the 
early stages of decay it acquires an acid flavor relished by some. 

^ Bullaces. The wild plum (Prunus Insititia) , larger than the 
sloe, well known in England as a semi-ctiltivated fruit ; there are two 
varieties, the black or dark blue, and the white. Like the persim- 
mon, the bullace is astringent until frost comes. 

^ Holly-oaks. Hollyhocks (Althea Rosea) , the well-known gar- 
den flower widely cultivated in many varieties, with showy blossoms 
of various tints of red, purple, yellow, and white. 


particulars are for the climate of London ; but my 
meaning is perceived, that you may have ver per- 
petuwm,^ as the place affords. 

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter 
in the air (where it comes and goes like the war- 
bling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing 
is more fit for that delight, than to know what be 
the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air. 
Roses, damask and red, are fast^ flowers of their 
smells ; so that you may walk by a whole row of 
them, and find nothing of their sweetness; yea^ 
though it be in a morning's dew. Bays* hkewise 
yield no smell as they grow. Rosemary little ; nor 
sweet marjoram.* That which above all others 
yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violet, 
specially the white double violet, which comes twice 
a year ; about the middle of April, and about Bar- 
tholomew-tide.* Next to that is the musk-rose. 

^ Perpetual spring. 

^Fast. Firm; tenacious. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, 
quit you like men, be strong." I. Corinthians xvi. 13. 

^ Xea. Not this alone; not only so, hut also; what is more. 
"Many of you, yea, most, return no more." 

Tennyson. The Holy Grail. 

*Bay, also called Sweet Bay, the Laurus Nobilis, an arborescent 
shrub cultivated in English gardens, with deep green leaves and a i 
profusion of dark purple berries. The leaves, -when crushed or 
bruised give out the odor of cinnamon, and on this account, to- 
gether with their beauty, they were used in olden times to garnish 
dishes for a banquet. The Bible refers to the very ancient super- 
stition that the flourishing of the bay tree meant good, and its 
withering, evil. 

"I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself 
like a green bay tree. 

"Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but 
he could not be found." Psalms xxxvii. 35 and 36. 

= Sweet marjoram. A plant of the mint family. Origanum Ma- 
jorana, peculiarly aromatic and fragrant, flowers purplish pink. 
° St. Bartholomew's day, August 24 O. S. 


Then the strawberry-leaves dying, with a most ex- 
cellent cordial smell. Then the flower of the vines ; 
it is a little dnst, like the dust of a bent, which 
grows upon the cluster in the first coming forth. 
Then sweet-briar. Then wall-flowers, which are 
very delightful to be set under a parlour or lower 
chamber window. Then pinks and gilliflowers/ 
specially the matted pink and clove gilliflower. 
Then the flowers of the Hme-tree. Then the honey- 
suckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of bean- 
flowers ^ I speak not, because they are field flowers. 
But those which perfume the air most delightfully, 
not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon 

^ GiMflowers. Gillyflower is a name that has been applied to 
varions plants whose blossoms smell like the clove (Old French, 
girofie, or clove), and especially to the clove-scented pink, Dianthus 
Caryophyllus, or Clove-gillyflower. The clove-gillyflower is the 
original of the carnation and other double pinks in cultivation, and 
it is the gillyflower of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspere, and Bacon. 

"The fair'st flowers o' the season 
Are our carnations^ and streak'd gillyvors." 

Shafcspere. The Winter's Tale. iv. 3. 

In those dialects in which the name gillyflower is still current, it 
is commonly applied, either to the Wall-flower (Cheiranthus Oheiri), 
or Wall-Gillyflower, or to the White Stock (Matthiola Incana), or 
StocJc-Gilly flower. Bacon's garden contains all three, pinks, stocks, 
and wall-flowers. The wall-flower is a native of southern Europe, 
where its deep orange-yellow flowers light up old walls and cliffs. 
In cultivation, the flowers range in color from pale yellow to deep 
red, and are clustered in short racemes. Wall-flowers are "de- 
lightful to be set" under windows because of their sweet odor. 

2 Bean-flower, Vicia Fdba, or Faba Yulgaris, a bean which has 
been cultivated in England for centuries as food for cattle, just as 
Indian corn is grown in the United States. In A Midsuw/mer- 
Night'8 Dream, ii. 1, Shakspere refers to "a fat and 6ean-fed 

"Long let us walk, 

Where the breeze blows from yon extended field 

Of blossomed beans. Arabia cannot boast 

A fuller gale of joy, than, liberal, thence 

Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul." 

James Thomson. The Seasons. Spring, 


and crushed, are three ; that is, burnet,^ •wild-thjnme,^ 
and -watermints. Therefore you are to set whole 
alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk 
or tread. 

For gardens (speaking of those which are indeed 
prince-like, as we have done of buildings), the con- 
tents ought not well to be under thirty acres of 
ground ; and to be divided into three parts ; a green 
in the entrance ; a heath ^ or desert in the going 
forth ; and the main garden in the midst ; besides 
alleys on both sides. And I like well that four acres 
of ground be assigned to the green ; six to the heath ; 
four and four to either * side ; and twelve to the 
main garden. The green hath two pleasures : the 

^Burnet. The popular name of plants belonging to the genera 
Sangxdsorba and. PoteHum, of the Rosaceae, of which the Great or 
Convmon Burnet (Sanguisorha Officinalis) is common, in England, 
on the meadows, and the Lesser or Salad Burnet (Poterium San- 
guisorha) on the chalk. The Salad Burnet received its generic 
name from the fact that its leaves, which taste somewhat like cucum- 
ber, were formerly dropped into goblets of wine to flavor it before 

"That even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth 
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover, 
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank, 
Conceives by idleness, and nothing teems 
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs. 
Losing both beauty and utility." 

ShaJcspere. King Henry Y. o. 1. 

^ Wild-thyme. Thymus Serpyllum, Creeping Thyme, an incon- 
spicuous plant, of the mint family, with flat green leaves and 
whitish or purplish flowers crowded at the ends of the branches, 
leaves and flowers both small. It is found growing in tufts on 
sunny hedgebanks, or in old fields. 

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, 
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows ; 
Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, 
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine." 

Shahspere. A Midsummer-Night's Dream, ii. 1. 

^ Heath. A part of a garden left more or less in a wild state; 
now called ;i 'wilderness.' 
* Either. Each. 


one, because notlimg is more pleasant to the eye 
than gi-een grass kept finely shorn ; the other, be- 
cause it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by 
which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, 
which is to enclose the garden. But because the 
alley will be long, and, in great heat of the year or 
day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden 
by goiag in the sun thorough the green, therefore 
you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert^ 
alley, upon carpenter's work, about twelve foot in 
height, by which you may go in shade into the 
garden. As for the making of knots ^ or figures with 
divers coloured earths, that they may lie under the 
windows of the house on that side which the garden 
stands, they be but toys: you may see as good 
sights many times in tarts. The garden is best to 
be square, encompassed on all the four sides with a 
stately arched hedge. The arches to be upon pUlars 
of carpenter's work, of some ten foot high, and six 
foot broad ; and the spaces between of the same di- 
mension with the breadth of the arch. Over the 
arches let there be an entire hedge of some four 
foot high, framed also upon carpenter's work ; and 
upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little turret, 
with a belly, enough to receive a cage of birds : and 
over every space between the arches some other 
little figure, with broad plates of round coloured 
glass gUt, for the sun to play upon. But this hedge 

^ Covert. Covered. 

2 Knot. A flower-bed laid out in a fanciful or intricate design; 
also, more generally, any laid-out garden plot; a flower-knot. "I 
must see what progress has been made with my rustic bridge — 
whether my terrace-walk has yet been begun — how speeds my 
bower — if my flower-knots are arranging according to rule." Susan 
Edmonstone Ferrier, The Inheritance, LXIX, 


I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but 
gently slope,^ of some six foot, set all with flowers. 
Also I understand, that this square of the garden 
should not be the whole breadth of the ground, but 
to leave on either side ground enough for diversity 
of side alleys ; unto which the two covert alleys of 
the green may deliver you. But there must be no 
aUeys with hedges at either end of this great en- 
closure; not at the hither end, for letting your 
prospect upon this fair hedge from the green ; nor 
at the further end, for letting ^ your prospect from 
the hedge through the arches upon the heath. 

For the ordering of the ground within the great 
hedge, I leave it to variety of device ; advising nev- 
ertheless that whatsoever form you cast it into, first, 
it be not too busy,^ or f uU of work. Wherein I, for 

^ Slope. Sloping, 

'^ Let. To hinder; to prevent. 

"No spears were there the shock to let." 

Scott. The Lord of the Isles. YI. xxiii. 

^ Busy. Bacon goes on to define the old meaning of busy here, 
"full of work," elaborate, such as "images cut out in juniper or 
other garden stuff." It is more than likely that Bacon had in mind 
his father's gardens at Gorhambury. Edmund Lodge, in his Portraits 
of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain, Vol. II., says of Sir 
Nicholas Bacon, — "He built a mansion on his estate of Redgrave, 
and another at Gorhambury, near St. Albans, to which last he 
added gardens of great extent, in the contrivance and decoration 
of which every feature of the bad taste of the time was abundantly 
lavished." Topiary work, or the clipping of trees, especially the juniper 
pine, into regular or fantastic shapes, was much practised by the old 
gardeners. Trees were cut into figures representing men, hats, um- 
brellas, jugs, bottles, candles, birds, mortars, corkscrews, and the like. 
H. Inigo Triggs, in his Formal Gardens in England and Scotland 
(1902), illustrates by some fine plates some of this old topiary work 
as it is still to be seen at Levens Hall, Westmorland, at Heslington 
Hall, Yorkshire, at Balcarres Castle, Fifeshire, and elsewhere. 

"I was led to a pretty garden,, planted with edges of Alaternus, 
having at the entrance a skreene at an exceeding height, accurately 
cut in topiary worke, with well understood Architecture, consisting 
of pillars, niches, freezes, and other ornaments, with greate curi- 
osity; some of the columns wreathed, others spiral, all according to 
art." John Evelyn* Diary. %5 March, 1G44, written in Caen, France. 


my part, do not lite images cut out in juniper or 
other garden stuff; they be for children. Little 
low hedges, round, like welts,^ with some pretty 
pyramides, I like well ; and in some places, fair col- 
umns upon frames of carpenter's work. I would 
also have the alleys spacious and fair. You may 
have closer alleys upon the side grounds, but none 
in the main garden. I wish also, in the very middle, 
a fair mount, with three ascents, and alleys, enough 
for four to walk abreast ; which I would have to be 
perfect circles, without any bulwarks or emboss- 
ments ; ^ and the whole mount to be thirty foot high ; 
and some fine banqueting-house, with some chim- 
neys neatly cast, and without too much glass. 

For fountains they are a great beauty and refresh- 
ment ; but pools mar all, and make the garden un- 
wholesome, and fuU of flies and frogs. Fountains 
I intend to be of two natures : the > one that 
sprinkleth or spouteth water ; the other a fair re- 
ceipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, 
but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, 
the ornaments of images gilt, or marble, which are 
in use, do well : but the main matter is so to convey 
the water, as it never stay, either in the bowls or in 
the cistern ; that the water be never by rest dis- 
coloured, green or red or the like ; or gather any 
mossiness or putrefaction. Besides that, it is to be 
cleansed every day by the hand. Also some steps 

^ Welt, A border, or fringe. "Clap but a civil gown witli a 
welt on the one, and a canonical cloke "with sleeves on the other, 
and give them a few terms in their mouths, and if there comes not 
forth as able a doctor and complete a parson, for this turn, as may 
be wish'd, trust not my election." Ben Jonson. Epicoene; or, The 
Silent Woman, iv. 2. 

' Embossment, A ivlging, or protuberance. 


up to it, and some flue pavement about it, doth well. 
As for the other kind of fountain, which we may- 
call a bathing pool, it may admit much curiosity^ 
and beauty; wherewith we will not trouble our- 
selves : as, that the bottom be finely paved, and 
with images ; the side likewise ; and withal embel- 
lished with coloured glass, and such things of 
lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low 
statua's. But the main point is the same which we 
mentioned in the former kind of fountain ; which is, 
that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a 
water higher then the pool, and delivered into it by 
fair spouts, and then discharged away under 
ground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little. 
And for fine devices, of arching water without spill- 
ing, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, 
drinking glasses, canopies, and the like), they be 
pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and 

For the heath, which was the third part of our 
plot, I wish it to be framed, as much as may be, to a 
natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it, but 
some thickets made only of sweet-briar and honey- 
suckle, and some wild vine amongst ; and the ground 
set with violets, strawberries, and primroses. For 
these are sweet, and prosper in the shade. And these 
to be in the heath, here and there, not in any order. 
I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills 
(such as are in wild heaths), to be set, some with 
wUd thyme ; some with pinks ; some with germander, 
that gives a good flower to the eye; some with 

1 Curiosity, Careful or elaborate worleTnanehip ; elegance. 


periwinkle ; some with violets ; some with straw- 
berries; some with cowslips; some with daisies; 
some with red roses ; some with lUiam convalliam ; 
some with sweet-williams red; some with bear's- 
foot:^ and the like low flowers, being withal sweet 
and sightly. Part of which heaps are to be with 
standards of little bushes pricked upon their top, 
and part without. The standards to be roses; 
jumper ; holly ; berberries ; (but here and there, be- 
cause of the smeU of their blossom;) red currants; 
gooseberry; rosemary j^ bays; sweet-briar; and 
such like. But these standards to be kept with 
cutting, that they grow not out of course. 

For the side grounds, you are to fill them with 
variety of alleys, private, to give a full shade, some 
of them, wheresoever the sun be. You are to frame 
some of them likewise for shelter, that when the 
wind blows sharp, you may walk as in a gallery. 
And those alleys must be likewise hedged at both 
ends, to keep out the wiud ; and these closer alleys 
must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because 
of going' wet. In many of these alleys likewise, you 

^ Bear'a-foot. The popular name of various species of Hellebore; 
especially of the Black Hellebore (Helleborus Foetid^us, Ranuncu- 
laceae, or Crowfoot family) ; it is a beautiful plant with spreading 
panicles of globular flowers, whose sepals are green edged with pinls. 

"The late narcissus, and the winding trail 
Of bear's-foot, myrtles green, and ivy pale," 

Dryden. Georgics. Book IT. 184—185. 
2 Rosemary. An evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus Officinalis, which 
is a native of southern Europe. The ancients associated the plant 
with the spray of the sea, whence the name ros marinus, literally 
'sea-dew.' It has a beautiful azure-blue flower, and a most fra- 
grant smell. 

"There 's rosemary, that 's for remembrance." 

Shakspere, Satnlet. iv. 2, 
' Go, To tend to ; conimce. 


are to set fruit-trees of all sorts ; as well upon the 
walls as in ranges. And this would be generaUj' 
observed, that the borders wherein you plant your 
fruit-trees be fair and large, and low, and not steep ; 
and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, 
lest they deceive^ the trees. At the end of both the 
side grounds, I would have a mount of some pretty 
height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast 
high, to look abroad into the fields. 

For the main garden, I do not deny but there 
should be some fair alleys ranged on both sides, 
with fruit-trees ; and some pretty tufts of fruit-trees, 
and arbours with seats, set in some decent order; 
but these to be by no means set too thick ; but to 
leave the main garden so as it be not close, but the 
air open and free. For as for shade, I would have 
yoa rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there 
to walk, if you be disposed, in the heat of the year 
or day ; but to make account that the main garden 
is for the more temperate parts of the year ; and in 
the heat of summer, for the morning and the even- 
ing, or overcast days. 

For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of 
that largeness as they may be turfed, and have living 
plants and bushes set in them ; that the birds may 
have more scope, and natural nestling, and that no 
foulness appear in the floor of the aviary. So I 

^Deceive. Xo cheat; defraud. "Wheresoever one plant draweth 
such a particular juice out of the earth, as it qualifieth the earth, so 
as that juice which remaineth is fit for the other plant; there the 
neighbourhood doth good; because the nourishments are contrary or 
several; but where two plants draw much the same juice, there the 
neighbourhood hurteth; for the one dec^iveth the other," B^Qn, 
Sylva Sylvarum, Century Y. 479, 


have made a platform of a princely garden, partly by 
precept, partly by drawing, not a model, but some 
general lines of it ; and in this I have spared for no 
cost. But it is nothing for gi-eat princes, that for 
the most part taking advice with workmen, with no 
less cost set their things together ; and sometimes 
add statua's, and such things, for state and magnifi- 
cence, but nothing to the true pleasure of a garden. 

XL VII. Of Negociating. 

It is generally better to deal by speech than by 
letter ; and by the mediation of a third than by a 
man's self. Letters are good, when a man would 
draw an answer by letter back again ; or when it 
may serve for a man's justification afterwards to 
produce his own letter ; or where it may be danger to 
be interrupted, or heard by pieces. To deal in person 
is good, when a man's face breedeth regard, as com- 
monly with inferiors ; or in tender cases, where a 
man's eye upon the countenance of him with whom 
he speaketh may give him a direction how far to 
go; and generally where a man wiU reserve to 
himself liberty either to disavow or to expound. 
In choice of instruments, it is better to choose men 
of a plainer sort, that are like to do that that is 
committed to them, and to report back again faith- 
fully the success, than those that are cunning to 
contrive out of other men's business somewhat to 
grace themselves, and wiQ help the matter in report 


for satisfactiqn sake. Use also such persons as 
affect the business wherein they are employed ; for 
that quickeneth much ; and such as are fit for the 
matter ; as bold men for expostulation, fair-spoken 
men for persuasion, crafty men for inquiry and ob- 
servation, froward^ and absurd men for business 
that doth not well bear out^ itself. Use also such 
as have been lucky, and prevailed before in things 
wherein you have employed them ; for that breeds 
confidence, and they will strive to maintain their 
prescription.^ It is better to sound a person with 
whom one deals afar off, than to fall upon the point 
at first ; except you mean to surprise him by some 
short question. It is better dealing with men in 
appetite,* than with those that are where they 
would be. If a man deal with another upon condi- 
tions, the start or first performance is all ; which a 
man cannot reasonably demand, except either the 
nature of the thing be such, which must go before ; 
or else a man can persuade the other party that he 
shall still need him in some other thing ; or else 
that he be counted the honester man. All practice^ 
is to discover, or to work. Men discover themselves 
in trust, in passion, at unawares, and of necessity, 
when they would have somewhat done and cannot 
find an apt pretext. If you would work ® any man, 

1 Froward. Di^cult to deal with ; refractory ; ungovernable ; per- 
verse. "Russell had always been froward, arrogant, mutinous." 
Macaulay. History of England. Tol. IV. Chapter xix. 233 (1867). 

^To bear out. To justify; to establish. 

"Prescription. Custom continued until it has the force of law; 
a right acquired by long or immemorial use. 

* Appetite. Inclination; desire. 
^ Practice. Negotiation. 

• Work. To manage ; handle. 


you must either know his nature and fashion/ and 
so lead him ; or his ends, and so persuade him ; or 
his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him ; 
or those that have interest in him and so govern 
him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must 
ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches ; 
and it is good to say little to them, and that which 
they least look for. In all negociations of difBculty, 
a man may not look to sow and reap at once ; but 
must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees. 

XL VIII. Of Followers and Friends. 

Costly followers are not to be liked ; lest while a 
man maketh his train longer, he make his wings 
shorter. I reckon to be costly, not them alone 
which charge the purse, but which are wearisome 
and importune^ in suits. Ordinary followers ought to 
challenge no higher conditions than countenance, 
recommendation, and protection from wrongs. 
Factious followers are worse to be liked, which 
follow not upon ^ affection to him with whom they 
range themselves, but upon discontentment* con- 
ceived against some other; whereupon commonly 

^ Fashion. Way ; habit ; manner. 

"Let 's do it after the high Roman fashion." 

Shakspere. Antony and Cleopatra, iv. IB. 

^ Importune. Importunate. 

^ Upon. In eonsequence of; from. 

* Discontentment. Discontent. 


ensueth that ill intelligence^ that we many times 
see between great personages. Likewise glorious ^ 
followers, who make themselves as trumpets of the 
commendation of those they follow, are full of in- 
convenience ; for they taint business through want 
of secrecy ; and they export honour from a man, 
and make him a return in envy. There is a kind 
of followers lik;ewise which are dangerous, being 
indeed espials; which inquire the secrets of the 
house, and bear tales of them to others. Yet such 
men, many times, are in great favour ; for they are 
of&cious,* and commonly exchange tales. The fol- 
lowing by certain estates* of men, answerable to 
that which a great person himself prof esseth, (as of 
soldiers to him that hath been employed in the 
wars, and the like,) hath ever been a thing civil,^ 
and well taken even in monarchies; so it be 
without too much pomp or popularity.® But the 
most honorable kind of following is to be followed 
as one that apprehend eth'' to advance virtue and 
desert in aU sorts of persons. And yet, where there 
is no eminent odds in suflciency, it is better to take 
with the more passable, than with the more able. 
And besides, to speak truth, in base times active 

^Intelligence. A. relation or footing between persons or parties; 
a good (or other) understanding 'between' or 'with.' 
^Glorious. Boastful; vainglorious. 

'Officious. Active or zealous in doing one's dMty ; dutiful; usefvX. 
"Come, come, be every one officious 
To make this banquet." 

Shakspere. Titus Andronicus. v. 2. 

* Estates of men. Order of men. 
' GivU. Decorous ; proper. 

'Popularity. Active in sense, u, desire to obtain favor with the 

' Apprehend, To anticipate ; to expect. 


men are of more use than virtuons. It is 
true that in government it is good to use men of 
one rank equally : for to countenance some extra- 
ordinarily, is to make them insolent, and the rest 
discontent ; ^ because they may claim a due. But 
contrariwise, in favour, to use men with much dif- 
ference^ and election is good; for it maketh the 
persons preferred more thankful, and the rest more 
officious : because all is of favour. It is good dis- 
cretion not to make too much of any man at the 
first ; because one cannot hold out that proportion. 
To be governed (as we call it) by one, is not safe ; 
for it shews softness,^ and gives a freedom to scan- 
dal and disreputation ; * for those that would not 
censure or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk 
more boldly of those that are so great with them, 
and thereby wound their honour. Yet to be dis- 
tracted with many is worse ; for it makes men to be 
of the last impression, and full of change. To take 
advice of some few friends is ever honourable ; for 
lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the 
vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friend- 
ship in the world, and least of all between equals, 
which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is 
between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may 
comprehend the one the other. 

^ Discontent. Discontented. 
^ Difference. Distinction. 

^ Softness. Weakness. "A satire against the softness of pros- 
perity." Shakspere. Timon of Athens, v. 1. 
* Disreputation. Disrepute. 


XLIX. Of Suitoes. 

Many ill matters and projects are undertaken ; 
and private suits do putrefy the public good. Many- 
good matters are undertaken with bad minds; I 
mean not only corrupt minds, but crafty minds, that 
intend not performance. Some embrace suits, 
which never mean to deal effectually in them ; but 
if they see there may be life in the matter by some 
other mean,i they will be content to win a thank,^ or 
take a second ^ reward, or at least to make use in the 
mean time of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of 
suits only for an occasion to cross some other ; or to 
make an information* whereof they could not 
otherwise have apt pretext ; without care what be- 
come of the suit when that turn is served ; or, gen- 
erally, to make other men's business a kind of enter- 
tainment ^ to bring in their own. Nay some under- 
take suits, with a full purpose to let them fall ; to 
the end to gratify the adverse party or competitor. 
Surely there is in some sort a right in every suit ; 
either a right in equity, if it be a suit of controversy ; 
or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If 

^ Mean. Means. 

' Thank. Expression of gratitude. Now plural. "For if ye love 
them which love you, what thank have yel For sinners also love 
those that love them." Luke vi. 32. 

^Second. Secondary ; inferior. 

* To make an information. To inform one's self. 

^Enteriamment. A preliminary occupation; spending (of time). 
"Sir Naihaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some 
show in the posterior of this day, to be render'd by our assistance, 
at the King's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned 
gentleman, before the Princess, — I say none so fit to present as the 
Nine Worthies." Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost, v, 1, 


affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in 
desert, let him do it without depraving ^ or disabling 
the better deserver. In suits which a man doth not 
well understand, it is good to refer ^ them to some 
friend of trust and judgment, that may report 
whether he may deal in them with honour : but let 
him choose well his referendaries,* for else he may 
be led by the nose. Suitors are so distasted * with 
delays and abuses,^ that plain dealing in denying to 
deal in suits at first, and reporting the success 
barely, and in challenging no more thanks than one 
hath deserved, is grown not only honourable but 
also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming 
ought to take little place : ^ so far forth '^ consid- 
eration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence 
of the matter could not otherwise have been had 
but by him, advantage be not taken of the note,^ 
but the party left to his other means ; and in some 

^Deprave. To defame; decry; disparage. So, Italian "depra- 
vare, to backbite." Florio. 

"Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name 
Of servitude to serve whom God ordains, 
Or Nature." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. YI. 174— 17e. 

2 Refer, To apply or appeal to. 

* Referendary. One to whose decision anything is referred ; u. 

* Distaste. To be displeased, or offended. 
^ Ahuse. Deception; imposture; delusion. 

"What should this mean? Are all the rest come back? 
Or is it some abuse, and no such, thing?" 

Shakspere. Hamlet, iv. 4. 

"To take place. To take effect; to avail. 

' So far forth. To the specified extent and no more. 

'Note. Notice; information; knowledge. 

"Sir, I do know you; 
And dare, upon the warrant of my note. 
Commend a dear thing to you." 

Shakspere. King Lear. Hi. X, 


sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant, 
of the value of a suit is simplicity ; as weU as to be 
ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. 
Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for 
voicing ^ them to be in forwardness may discourage 
some kind of suitors, but doth quicken and awake 
others. But timing of the suit is the principal. 
Timing, I say, not only in respect of the person that 
should grant it, but in respect- of those which are 
like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his 
mean,2 rather choose the fittest mean than the 
greatest mean ; and rather them that deal in certain 
things, than those that are general. The reparation 
of a denial is sometimes equal to the first grant ; if 
a man shew himself neither dejected nor discon- 
tented. Iniqumn petas ut cequumferas,^ is a good rule, 
where a man hath strength of favour : but other- 
wise a man were better rise in his suit ; for he that 
would have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, 
will not in the conclusion lose * both the suitor and 
his own former favour. Nothing is thought so easy 
a request to a great person, as his letter ; and yet, if 
it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his 

^ Voice. To announce ; proclaim ; report. 

^ Mean. Agent ; instrument. Kare in the sin^lar. 

'Follow me, soldiers: we '11 devise a mean 
To reconcile you all unto the King." 

ShaTcspere. II. King Henry YI. iv. S. 
^ Ask what is unreasonable, that you may get what is equitable. 
"Nee omnino fine ratione est, quod vulgo dicitur, Iniquum peten- 
dum, ut aequum feras." M. Fabii QuintUiani de Institutione Ora- 
toria Liber IV. v. 16. 

* Lose, To ruin; to destroy. 

"What to ourselves in passion we propose. 
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose." 

Shakapere, Hamlet. Hi. 2. 


reputation. There are no worse instruments than 
these general contrivers of suits ; for they are but 
a kind of poison and infection to public proceedings. 

L. Of Studies. 

Studies serv^ for delight, for ornament, and for 
ability. Their chief use for delight, is in private-, 
ness and retiring ; for ornament, is in discourse ; 
and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition 
of business. For expert men can execute, and per- 
haps judge of particulars, one by one; but the 
general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of 
affairs, come best from those that are learned./ To. 
spend too much time in studies is sloth ; to use them 
too much for ornament, is affectation ; to make ^ 
judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a 
scholar. They perfect nature^ and are perfected by 
experience : for natural abilities are like natural 
plants, that need^Toyning^ by study; and studies 
themselves do give forth directions too much at 

^large, except they be bounded in by experience. 

"Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire 
them, and wise men use them ; for they teach not 
their own use ; but that is a wisdom without them, 
and above them, won by observation. ^ Read not to 

^ Make. Of a court, a judge. To render, give (a decision, judg- 
ment). The New English Dictionary, on the authority of Sir Fred- 
erick Pollock, says, "Now unusual in England; still common in 

- Proyning, old spelling of pruning. 


contradict and confute ; nor to believe and take for 
granted; nor to find^alk and discourse; but to 
weigh and consider, l^ome books are to be tasted, 
others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed 
and digested ; that is, some books are; to be read 
only in parts ; others to be read, but not curiously ; ^ 
and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence 
and attention. \ ' Some books also may be read by 
deputy, and extracts made of them by others ; but 
that would 2 be only in the less important arguments, 
and the meaner sort of books ; else distilled books 
are like common distilled waters, flashy ^ things. 
'^Reading maketh a full m,an; conference/ a ready 
man ; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if 
a man write little, hehad need have a great_memory ; 
if he conf erTitni^ he had need have a gresent wit : 
and if he read little, he had need have much'^uq- 
ning, to seem to know that * he doth not. Historic^ 
make men wise ; poets witty ; the mathematics sub- 
tile ; natural philosophy deep ; moral grave ; logic 
and rhetoric able to contend^ Abeunt studia in 
mores.^ Nay there is no stond® or impediment in 
the wit, but may be wrought ' out by fit studies : 

^ Curiously. Attentively. 

2 Would, for should. 

^Flashy. Insipid; tasteless. , 

' That. What, that which. 

° Studies develop into manners. 

Sive abeunt studia in mores, artesque mugistrae. 
P. Ovidii Naaonis Heroides. Epistola XT. 83. Sappho Phaoni. 

Note this thought and Bacon's own translation of it: "Abeunt stu- 
dia in mores, studies have an influence and operation upon the man- 
ners of those conversant in them." Advancem-ent of Learning^ I. Hi. 4. 

^ Stond. Hindrance. 

^ Wrought. Worked. "What hath God wrought," the first tele- 
gram, was sent by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, " inventor of the 
telegraph, from the rooms of the United States Supreme Court, in 
Washington, to Baltimore, May 24, 1844. 

or FACTION 235 

like as diseases of the body may have appropriate 
exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins ; ^ 
shooting for the lungs and breast ; gentle walking 
for the stomach ; riding for head ; and the like. So 
if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the 
mathemathics ;; for in demonstrations, if his wit be 
called away never so Kttle, he must begin again. If 
his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, 
let him study the schoolmen ; for they are cymini 
sectores? If he be not apt to beat ^ over matters, 
and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate 
another, let him study the lawyers' cases. So every 
defect of the mind may have a special receipt. 

LI. Of Faction. 

Many have an opinion not wise, that for a prince 
to govern his estate,* or for a great person to govern 
his proceedings, according to the respect of factions, 
is a principal part of policy; whereas contrari- 

^ Reins. Kidneys. 

^ Splitters of cumin, that is, hair-3plitters. Cumin is an oriental 
plant with small, aromatic seed. "Antoninus Pius, who succeeded 
him, was a prince excellently learned, and had the patient and subtle 
wit of a schoolman; in so much as in common speech (which leaves. 
no virtue untaxed) he was called Cymini Sector, a carver or 
divider of cummin seed, which is one of the least seeds; such a 
patience he had and settled spirit, to enter into the least and the 
most exact differences of causes; a fruit no doubt of the exceeding 
tranquillity and serenity of his mind; which being no ways charged 
or incumbered, either with fears, remorses, or scruples, but having 
been noted for a man of the purest goodness, without all fiction or 
affectation, that hath reigned or lived, made his mind continually 
present and entire." Advancement of Learning, I. vii. 7. 

' To beat over. To beat out, to get to the bottom of. 

'Estate. State. 


wise,^ the chiefest wisdom is either in ordering those 
things which are general, and wherein men of sev- 
eral factions do nevertheless agree ; or in dealing 
with correspondence to particular persons, one hy 
one. But I say not that the consideration of fac- 
tions is to be neglected. Mean men, in their rising, 
must adhere ; but great men, that have strength in 
themselves, were better to maintain themselves in- 
different and neutral. Yet even in beginners, to 
adhere so moderately, as he be a man of the one 
faction which is most passable^ with the other, com- 
monly giveth best way. The lower and weaker fac- 
tion is the firmer in conjunction ; and it is often 
seen that a few that are stiff do tire out a greater 
number that are more moderate. When one of the 
factions is extinguished, the remaining subdivideth ; 
as the faction between Lucullus and the rest of the 
nobles of the senate (which they called Optimatesf 
held oijt awhile against the faction of Pompey and 
Caesar ; but when the senate's authority was pulled 
down, Ctesar and Pompey soon after brake. The 
faction or party of Antonius and Oetavianus Ctesar 
against Brutus and Cassius,* held out likewise for a 
time; but when Brutus and Cassius were over- 
thrown, then soon after Antonius and Oetavianus 
brake and subdivided. These examples are of wars, 

' Contrariwise. On the contrary. 

^ Passable. That may be passed; receivable ; acceptable. 

' Optimates. The adherents of 'the best' men, that ;s, in the 
Roman political sense, the aristocratic party, the aristocrats, in 
opposition to populares, the popular party. 

* Cains Cassius Longinus, died near Philippi, Macedonia, 42 B.C., 
Roman general and politician. He was the leading conspirator 
against Caesar in 44 B.C., and was defeated, with Brutus, by 
Pompey at Philippi. 


but the same holdeth in private factions. And 
therefore those that are seconds in factions do naany 
times, when the faction subdivideth, prove princi- 
pals ; but many times also they prove cyphers and 
cashiered ;^ for many a man's strength is in oppo- 
sition ; and when that f aileth he groweth out of use. 
It is commonly seen that men once placed take in 
with the contrary faction to that by which they 
enter : thinking belike ^ that they have the first sure, 
and now are ready for a new purchase. The traitor 
in faction lightly goeth away with it ; for when mat- 
ters have stuck long in balancing, the winning of 
some one man casteth them, and he getteth all the 
thanks. The even carriage between two factions 
proceedeth not always of moderation, but of a true- 
ness to a man's self, with end to make use of both. 
Certainly in Italy they hold it a little suspect ' in 
popes, when they have often in their mouth Padre 
commune : * and take it to be a sign of one that 
meaneth to refer all to the greatness of his own 
house. Kings had need beware how they side " 
themselves, and make themselves as of a faction or 
party; for leagues within the state are ever perni- 
cious to monarchies : for they raise an obligation 

^Cashiered. To he 'cashiered,' discarded, deposed, that is, of no 
account, "cyphers." 

^Belike. 'By what is likely,' tliat is, not unlikely; possibly. 

"Tilings that I know not of belike to thee are dear." 

Wordsworth. The Pet Lamb. Line 51. 

* Suspect. Suspicious. 

"Suspecions was the diffame of this man, 
Suspect his face, suspect his word also." 

Chaucer. The Clerk's Tale. II. 540-541. 

* Common Father. 

^ Side. To take or choose a side. 


paramount to obligation of sovereignty, and make 
the king tanquam unus ex nobis ; ^ as was to be seen 
in the League ^ of France. When factions are car- 
ried too high and too violently, it is a sign of weak- 
ness in princes ; and much to the prejudice both of 
their authority and business. The motions of fac- 
tions under kings ought to be like the motions (as 
the astronomers speak) of the inferior orbs, which 
may have their proper motions, but yet still are 
quietly carried by the higher motion of primum 

LII. Of Ceremonies anb Ebspects.* 

He that is only real, had need have exceeding 
great parts of virtue ; as the stone had need to be 
rich that is set without f oU.* But if a man mark it 
well, it is in praise and commendation of men as it is 
in gettings and gains : for the proverb is true, ITiat 
light gains make heavy purses; for light gains come 
thick, whereas great come but now and then. So it 

^ As one of us. 

''The Holy League was formed by the Eoman Catholic interests 
in 1576 under the leadership of Henry, Duke of Guise. Henry III. 
of Prance weakly joined the League which directed its main efforts 
towards preventing the succession of Henry of Navarre, his heir 
and a Protestant. The Duke of Guise became so powerful as to set 
up pretensions to the throne. Henry III. fled from Paris, and 
ultmiately entered into an alliance with Henry of Navarre and 
the Huguenots. King in name only, he took the part of a pawn 
m the great game Henry of Guise and Henry of Navarre were 

"Respects. Deferential good wishes; complimentary regards. 
Voil. A piece of gold or silver leaf set behind a gem to give it 
color or lustre, " 


is true tliat small matters win great commendation, 
because they are contimially in use and in note : 
whereas the occasion of any great virtue cometh but 
on festivals. Therefore it doth much add to a man's 
reputation, and is (as queen Isabella ^ said) like per- 
petual letters commendatory, to have good forms. To 
attain them it almost sufficeth not to despise them ; 
for so shall a man observe them in others ; and let 
him trust himself with the rest. For if he labour 
too much to express them, he shall lose their grace ; 
which is to be natural and unaffected. Some men's 
behaviour is like a verse, wherein every syllable is 
measured ; how can a man comprehend great mat- 
ters, that breaketh his mind too much to small 
observations ? ^ Not to use ceremonies at all, is to 
teach others not to use them again ; and so dimin- 
isheth respect to himself ; especially they be not to 
be omitted to strangers and formal natures ; but the 
dwelling upon them, and exalting them above the 
moon, is not only tedious, but doth diminish the faith 
and credit of him that speaks. And certainly there 
is a kind of conveying of effectual and imprinting ^ 
passages amongst compliments, which is of singular 
use, if a man can hit upon it. Amongst a man's 
peers a man shall be sure of familiarity ; and there- 

^ Isabella I., the Catholic, 1451—1504, daughter and heiress of 
Juan II. of Castile, and queen of Ferdinand V. (II. of Aragou and 
III. of Naples). Isabella's enduring title to fame is that she be- 
lieved in Columbus, and equipped the three little ships, the Santa 
Maria, the Nina, and the Pinta, with which he set forth from Palos, 
August 3, 1492, to discover America. "Queen Isabell of Spain used 
to say: Whosoever hath a good presence and a good fashion, carries 
letters of recommendation." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 
99 (74). 

- Observations. Observances. 

^ Imprinting. That imprints or impresses something on the mind; 


fore it is good a little to keep state. Amongst a 
man's inferiors one shall be sure of reverence ; and 
therefore it is good a little to be familiar. He that 
is too much in anything, so that he giveth another 
occasion of satiety, maketh himself cheap. To apply 
one's self to others is good ; so it be with demonstra- 
tion that a man doth it upon regard, and not upon 
facility. It is a good precept generally in second- 
ing another, yet to add somewhat of one's own : as 
i£ you will grant his opinion, let it be with some dis- 
tinction ; if you will follow his motion, let it be with 
condition ; if you allow his counsel, let it be with al- 
leging further reason. Men. had need beware how 
they be too perfect in compliments; for be they 
never so sufficient ^ otherwise, their enviers will be 
sure to give them that attribute, to the disadvan- 
tage of their greater virtues. It is loss also in busi- 
ness to be too full of respects, or to be curious ^ in 
observing times and opportunities. Salomon saith, 
Me that considereth the wind shall not sow, and he that 
looheth to the clouds shall not reap? A wise man 
will make more opportunities than he finds. Men's 
behaviour should be like their apparel, not too strait 
or point device,* but free for exercise or motion.^ 

^Sufficient. Capable; qualified; competent; fit. 

*'You 'II never meet a more sufficient man." 

Shaksper'e. Othello. Hi. 4. 

2 Curious. Minutely accurate ; exact ; precise. 

3 Ecclesiastes xi. 4, 

* Point-device. Precise; nice; scrupulously neat; finical. "Then 
your hose should be ungarter'd, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve 
unbutton'd, your shoe untied, and everything about you demonstrat- 
ing a careless desolation. But you are no such man: you are rather 
point-device in your accoutrements," Shakspere. As Sou Like It. 
Hi. 2. 

° For Bacon's own admirable definition of behaviour as the 'gar- 
ment of the mind,' read the Advancement of Learning, II. xxiii. S. 


LIII. Of Praise. 

Praise is tlie reflexion of virtue. But it is as the 
glass or body which giveth the reflexion. If it be 
from the common people, it is commonly false and 
naught; and rather followeth vain persons than 
virtuous. For the common people understand not 
many excellent virtues. The lowest virtues draw 
praise from them ; the middle virtues work in them 
astonishment or admiration; but of the highest 
virtues they have no sense of perceiving at all. 
But shews, and species virtutibus similes,^ serve best 
with them. Certainly fame is like a river, that 
beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns 
things weighty and sohd. But if persons of quality 
and judgment concur, then it is (as the Scripture 
saith), Ifomen bonum insiar miguenti fragrantis? It 
filleth all round about, and will not easily away.^ 
For the odours of ointments are more durable than 
those of flowers. There be so many false points of 
praise, that a man may justly hold it a suspect. 
Some praises proceed merely of flattery ; and if he 
be an ordinary flatterer, he will have certain com- 
mon attributes, which may serve every man ; if he 

^ Appearances similar to virtues. "7s Cal-purnio genere ortus, ac 
multa insignesgue familias paterna nobilitate eomplexus, claro apud 
indgum rumore erai per virtutem, aut species virtutibus similes." 
P. Cornelii Taciti Annaliurn Liber X7. 48. 

^ A good name is like unto a fragrant ointment. Bacon has here 
in mind Ecclesiastes vii. 1, where the proverb is, *'A good name is 
better than precious ointment." 

* Away. Go away. Elliptical use, with verb suppressed, simu- 
lating an imperative, or rarely, as here, an infinitive. 

"For 'get you gone,' she doth not mean away!" 

Shakspere. The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hi. 1. 


be a cunning flatterer, he will foUow the arch- 
flatterer, which is a man's self ; and wherein a man 
thinketh best of himself, therein the flatterer will 
uphold him most : but if he be an imprudent flat- 
terer, look wherein a man is conscious to himself 
that he is most defective, and is most out of counte- 
nance in himself, that will the flatterer entitle him 
to perforce, spretd conscientid} Some praises come 
of good wishes and respects, which is a form due in 
civility to kings and great persons, laudando prmci- 
pere,^ when by telling men what they are, they 
represent to them what they should be. Some men 
are praised maliciously to their hurt, thereby to 
stir envy and jealousy towards them; pessimum 
genus inimicorum laudcmtium ;^ insomuch as it was 
a proverb amongst the Grecians, that he that was 
praised to Ms hurt, should have a push* rise upon his 
nose; as we say, that a blister will rise upon on^s 
tongue that tells a lie. Certainly moderate praise, 
used with opportunity, and not vulgar, is that 
which doth the good. Salomon saith. He thatprais- 
eth his friend aloud, rising early, it shall he to him no 
better than a curse? Too much magnifying of man 
or matter doth irritate contradiction, and procure 
envy and scorn. To praise a man's self cannot be 
decent, except it be in rare cases ; but to praise a 

^ Conscience being despised. 
^ To instruct by praising. 

* Flatterers are the worst kind of enemies. "Ca/aaa periculi non 
crimen vXlum, aut querela laesi cujusquam, sed infensus virtutibus 
Princeps, et gloria viri, ac pessimum inimicorum, gentts, laudantes." 
Cornelii Taciti Vita Agricolae. Caput 41. 

* Push. Pimple. 

^ "He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the 
morning, it shall be counted a curse to him." Proverbs xxvii. 14. 


man's office or profession, he may do it with good 
grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. The Cardi- 
nals of Rome, which are theologues,^ and friars, and 
schoolmen, have a phrase of notable contempt and 
scorn towards civil business: for they call all 
temporal business of wars, embassages, judicature, 
and other employments, shirrerie, which is under- 
sheriffries; as if they were but matters for under- 
sheriffs and catchpoles : ^ though many times those 
under-sheriffries do more good than their high 
speculations. St. Paul, when he boasts of himself, 
he doth oft interlace, Ispeah like a fool ;^ but speak- 
ing of his calling, he saith, magnificabo apostolatwm 

LIV. Of "Vain-Gloet. 

It was prettily devised of ^sop : the fly sat upon 
the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and said, What a dust 
do I raise! ® So are there some vain persons, that 

^Theologues. Theologians. 

^ Catchpole, or catchpoll. A bailiff's assistant; u sergeant (of 

3 "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; 
in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more 
frequent, in deaths oft." II. Corinthians xi. 23. 

* "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of 
the Gentiles, I magnify mine oifice." Romans xi. 13. 

'Fable CCLXX. A Fly upon a Wheel. The Fables of Atste- 
mius, etc., in Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mytholo gists : 
With Morals and Reflexions. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt. The 
third edition. 1669, p. 244. Laurentius Abstemius is the Latin- 
ized name of the Italian fabulist, Lorenzo Bevilaqua, who published 
a book of fables entitled, 3ecathomythium sen centum Fabvlae. 
(Tenetiis. 1499. 4to.). This charming fable Abstemius called, 
he Musca Quae Quadrigis Insidens, puluerem. se excitasse dicebat. 
Bacon may have read it and associated it with Aesop, in a little 


whatsoever goeth alone or moveth upon greater 
means, if they have never so little hand in it, they 
think it is they that carry it. They that are glori- 
ous must needs be factious ; ^ for all bravery stands 
upon comparisons. They must needs be violent, to 
make good their own vaunts. Neither can they be 
secret, and therefore not effectual; but according 
to the French proverb, Beaucoup de bruit, peu de 
fruit ; Much bruit,^ little fruit. Yet certainly there 
is use of this quality in civil affairs. Where there 
is an opinion and fame to be created either of vii'- 
tue or greatness, these men are good trumpeters. 
Again, as Titus Livius noteth in the case of 
Antiochus^ and the JEtolians, there are sometimes 
great effects of cross lies;* as if a man that negociates 
between two princes, to draw them to join in a 
war against the third, doth extol the forces of 
either of them above measure, the ore to the other : 

book of Latin fables published in Lyons in Henry the Eighth's 
time: Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fabulae, quorum nomina sequenti 
paffella uidere licet. Accessit huic editioni Alterum Laurentii Ab- 
stemii Hecathomiythium, hoc est, centum fabularum libellua alter. 
Lugduni Apud Saeredes Simonis Vincentii M. D. XXXVII. 

^Factious. Given to faction; inclined to form parties, or to act 
for party purposes; seditious. 

"He is a traitor; let him to the Tower, 
And chop away that factious pate of his." 

Shakspere. II. King Henry TI. v. 1. 

^ Bruit. Noise; din; clamour. "Behold, the noise of the bruit is 
come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the 
cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons." Jeremiah x. 22. 

'Antioehus III., sumamed 'the Great,' was born about 238 B.C. 
and died in 187 B.C. He was King of Syria from 223 to 187 B.C. 

* For the "cross lies" between Antiochus III. and the Aetolians, 
see Livy, Liber XXXVII. Capita 48, 49, and SO. After the de- 
feat of the Macedonians at Cynocephalae, 197 B.C., by Flamininus, 
the Aetolian confederation attempted to form an alliance with An- 
tiochus III., King of Syria. It proved to be disastrous, for 
Antiochus was defeated by Porcius Cato at the pass of Thermopylae, 
181 B.C., and by the brothers, Cornelius and Africanus Scipio, at 
Magnesia, 190 B.C. 


and sometimes he that deals between man and man, 
raiseth his own credit with both, by pretending 
greater interest than he hath in either. And in 
these and the like kinds, it often falls out that 
somewhat is produced of nothing ; for lies are suf- 
ficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on 
substance. In militar^ commanders and soldiers, 
vain-glory is an essential point ; for as iron sharpens 
iron, so by glory ^ one courage sharpeneth another. 
In cases of great enterprise upon charge^ and adven- 
ture, a composition of glorious natures doth put life 
into business ; and those that are of solid and sober 
natures have more of the ballast than of the sail. 
In fame of learning, the flight will be slow without 
some feathers of ostentation. Qui de contemnendd 
glorid libros scribunt, nomen suum inscribunt.*' Soc- 
rates, Aristotle,' Galen," were men full of ostenta- 
tion. Certainly vain-glory helpeth to perpetuate a 

1 MUitar. Military. 

"And there instruct the noble English heirs. 
In politique and mUitar affairs." 
Ben JoTtson. Vnderwoods. LXIII. A Speech. According to Horace. 

^ Glory. Boastfulness. Now obsolete, except in the combination, 
Vainglory,' "I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King 
of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks." Isaiah x. 12. 

3 Charge, Expense or cost; "charge and adventure" means *cost 
and risk.' 

* Those who write books condemning glory inscribe their names 
therein. Bacon is quoting Cicero, "Quid? nostri philosophi nonne 
in iis libris ipsis, quos scribunt de contemnenda gloria, sua nomina 
inscribunt?" What? shall not our philosophers who write con- 
demning glory inscribe their names in their own books? M. Tullii 
Ciceronis Tusculanarwm Disputationum ad Brutum Liber I. Caput 15. 

° Aristotle, 384 — 322 B.C., one of the most famous an^i influential 
of the Greek philosophers. He was the founder of the Peripatetic 
school of philosophy, and the teacher of Alexander the Great. His 
extant works include the Politics, Poetics, Nichomachean Ethics, 
Metaphysics, Rhetoric, etc. 

' Claudius Galenus, bom about 130 A.D., was a celebrated Greek 
physician and philosophical writer. 


man's memory ; and virtue was never so beholding 
to human nature, as ^ it received his due at the 
second hand. Neither had the fame of Cicero, 
Seneca, Plinius Secundus^ borne her age so well, if 
it had not been joined with some vanity in them- 
selves ; like unto varnish, that makes ceilings not 
only shine but last. But all this whUe, when I speak 
of vain-glory, I mean not of that property that Taci- 
tus doth attribute to Mucianus ; ^ Omnium, quce dix- 
eratfeceratque, arte quddam ostentator:^ for that pro- 
ceeds not of vanity but of natural magnanimity and 
discretion ; and in some persons is not onlj' comely, 
but gracious. For excusations,^ cessions,^ modesty 
itself well governed are but arts of ostentation. 
And amongst those arts there is none better than that 
which Plinius Secundus speaketh of, which is to be 
liberal of praise and commendation to others, in 
that wherein a man's self hath any perfection. For 
saith Pliny very wittily. In commending another you 
do yourself right; for he that you commend is either 
superior to you in that you commend, or inferior. If 
he be inferior, if he ie to he commended, you much 

^As. That. 

^ Cains Plinius Caecilius Seeundus, Pliny the Younger, 62—113 
A.D., a Roman author. He was the nephew of, the elder Pliny, the 
naturalist, and the friend of Trajan and Tacitus. His Epistles and 
a eulogy of Trajan have been preserved. 

^ Marcus Licinius Crassus Mucianus was a grandson of Licinius 
Crassus of the first triumvirate. He was consul in 66 A.D., gov- 
ernor of Syria, 67 A.D., and consul again in 70 and 72 a.d. He 
died in or before 77 a.d. The phrase is borrowed from Livy, 
XXVI. 19, who uses it of Scipio Africanus, "Fuit Scijno non veris 
tantum virtutibus imrahilis, sed arte quoque quadajn ab juventa in 
ostentationem earum compositus." 

* Tacitus's words are "omniumque quae diceret atque ageret arte 
auadam ostentator," and by a certain art a vaunter of all that he 
had said or done. Cornelii Taeiti Uistoriarum Liber II. 80. 

^ Excusationa. Excuses. 

" Cessions. Concessions. 


more; if he he superior, if he he not to he commended^ 
you much less} Grlorious men are the scorn of wise 
men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, 
and the slaves of their own vaunts.^ 

LV. Of Honour and Reputation. 

The winning of Honour is but the revealing of a 
man's virtue and worth without disadvantage. For 
some in their actions do woo and affect honour and 
reputation ; which sort of men are commonly much 
talked of, but inwardly little admired. And some, 
contrariwise, darken their virtue in the shew of it ; 
so as they be undervalued in opinion. If a man per- 
form that^ which hath not been attempted before; 
or attempted and given over ; or hath been achieved, 
but not with so good circumstance;^ he shall pur- 

^ I quote the Latin of Pliny, to call attention to Bacon's style of 
translation, close but varied: "Disertior ipse es? tanto magis, ne 
invideris : nam qui invidet minor est, Denique, sive plus sive 
minus sive idem praestas, lauda vel inferiorem vel superiorem vel 
parem: superiorem, quia, nisi laudand/us ille, non potes ipse laudari; 
inferiorem, ant parem,, quia pertinet ad tuam gloriam quam maximum 
videri quern praecedis vel exaequas." O. Plini Caecili Secundi Epis- 
tolarum. Liber YI. 17. 

^ Taunt. A vain display ; a toast. 

"As next the King, he was successive heir. 
And such high vaunts of his nobility. 
Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess 
By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall." 

SkaJcspere, II. King Henry YI. Hi. 1. 
3 That. What. 

* Circumstance. The logical surroundings or adjuncts of an 
action, such as its time,, place, manner j or cause; in the singular, 
any one of these conditioning adjuncts. "My lord hath sent you 
this note ; and by me this further charge, — that you swerve not from 
the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumr 
stance." ShaJcspere. Measure for Measure, iv. 8. 


chase more honour, than by effecting a matter of 
greater difficulty or virtue, wherein he is but a fol- 
lower. If a man so temper his actions, as ^ in some 
one of them he doth content every faction or com- 
bination of people, the music will be the fuller. A 
man is an ill husband ^ of his honour, that entereth 
into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace 
him more than the carrying of it through can 
honour him. Honour that is gained and broken 
upon another^ hath the quickest reflexion, like dia- 
monds cut with fascets. And therefore let a man 
contend to excel any competitors of his in honour, 
in'out-shooting them, if he can, in their own bow. 
Discreet followers and servants help much to repu- 
tation. Omnis fania a domesticis emanate Envy, 
which is the canker of honour, is best extinguished 
by declaring a man's self in his ends rather to seek 
merit than fame ; and by attributing a man's suc- 
cesses rather to divine Providence and felicity, than 
to his own virtue or policy. The true marshalling 
of the degrees of sovereign honour are these. In 

>4.s. That. 

^Euaband. One who manages his affairs with skill and thrift; 
a saving, frugal, or provident man; an economist. "I gave each of 
them a Musket witli a Firelock on it, and about eight Charges of 
Powder and Ball, charging them to be very good Husbands of both, 
and not to use either of them but upon urgent Occasion." Defoe. 
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, p. 253 (Globe 
edition) . 

^The Latin essay reads, "Honor qui comparativus est et aliwm 
praegravat," Honor which is gained and weighs down or depresses 
another, that is, 'honor which is gained by overcoming a com- 

' All fame emanates from domestics. Bacon is quoting from a let- 
ter of Quintus Cicero to his brother Marcus Tullins, "Nam fere omnis 
sermo ad forensem famam a domesticis eman'at auctoribus." Epistola 
Q. Ciceronis Be Petitione Consulatus ad M. Fratrem. Y. 17. M. 
Tullii Ciceronis Scripta Quae Manserunt Omnia. III. 049. B. 
Klotz. Leipzig. 1885. 


the first place are conditores imperiorimij founders of 
states and commonwealths j such as were Romulus, 
Cyrus,^ CsBsar, Ottoman^^ Ismael. In the second 
place are legislatores, lawgivers; which are also 
called second founders, ov perpetui principeSj^ because 
they govern by their ordinances after they are gone 5 
such were Lycurgus,^ Solon, Justinian,^ Eadgar,*^ 
Alphonsus of CastLLe,"^ the wise, that made the Siete 
partidas. In the third place are liber atores, or sal- 
vatores,^ such as compound ® the long miseries of 
civil wars, or deliver their countries from servitude 
of strangers or tyrants ; as Augiistus Cassar, Vespa- 
sianus, Aurelianus,^^ Theodoricus,^^ King Henry the 

^ Cyrus the Great, 559 — 529 B.C., founder of the Persian empire. 

2 Osman I. (Othman, or Ottoman), died 1326, founder of the 
Ottoman empire. He became chief of his tribe in 1288, and as- 
sumed the title'of emir (not of sultan) in 1299. 

3 Perpetual princes. 

* Lycurgus, the Spartan lawgiver, lived probably in the 9th cen- 
tury B.C. He is the traditional author of the laws and institutions 
of Sparta. 

^ Flavius Anicius Justinianus, 'the Great,' 483—565 a.d., Byzan- 
tine emperor, 527 — 565. 

^ Eadgar, or Edgar, 944 — 975, called 'the Peaceful,' great- 
grandson of Alfred, King of England, 959-975. 

^Alfonso X., 1221-1284, King of Leon and Castile, 1252-1282, 
surnamed 'the Wise' and 'the Astronomer.' He was the author 
of the Spanish code of laws, which is called Las Siete Partidas, from 
'the seven parts' into which it is divided. Alfonso X. made Castilian 
the national language of Spain by causing the Bible to be translated 
into it, and by requiring all legal proceedings to be conducted in 

^ Liberators or saviours. 

® Compound. To settle or compose (disturbance, strife, differ- 
ence, litigation). 

"Rise, Griimio, rise; we will compound this quarrel." 

Shakspere. The Taming of the Shrew, i. 2. 

^*> Claudius Lucius Valerius Domitius Aurelianus, 212(?)— 275 
A.D., Emperor of Rome 270 — 275 a.d. Aurelian was the conqueror 
of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, in 272 and 273. He was called by 
the Roman senate, the 'Restorer of the Roman Empire,' 

"Theodoric the Great, 454(?)-526, King of the East Goths. In 
mediaeval German romance Theodoric is celebrated as Dietrich von 
Bern (that is, Theodoric of Verona), 


Seventh of England, King Henry the Fourth of 
France.! j^ ^j^q fourth place are propagatores or 
propugnatores imperii; ^ such as in honourable wars 
enlarge their territories, or make noble defence 
against invaders. And in the last place are patres 
patriae^ which reign justly, and make the times 
good wherein they live. Both which last kinds need 
no examples, they are in such number. Degrees of 
honour in subjects are, first participes (mrarum,* 
those upon whom princes do discharge the greatest 
weight of their affairs ; their right hands, as we call 
them. The next are duces belK,^ great leaders ; such 
as are princes' lieutenants, and do them notable ^ 
services in the wars. The third are gratiosi, favour- 
ites ; such as exceed not this scantling,^ to be solace 
to the sovereign, and harmless to the people. And 
the fourth, negotiis pares; * such as have great places 
under princes, and execute their places with sufil- 
ciency. There is an honour, likewise, which may be 
ranked amongst the greatest, which happeneth 

'Henry IV., o( France, 1553-1610, King of France, 1589-1610. 
He was the son of Antoine de Bourbon, King of Navarre, and 
Jeanne d'Albret, and is the Henry of Navarre of song and story. 

* Propagators or defenders of empire. 
^ Fathers of their country. 

* Sharers of cares. 
^ Leaders of war. 

^Notable. Worthy of notice; noteworthy; remarlcdble. "And as 
I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west, on the 
face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat 
had a notable horn between his eyes." Daniel viii. S. 

' Scantling. A small quantity, number, or amount, "The mule- 
teer, as I told you, was a little, joyous, chirping fellow, who thought 
not of to-morrow, nor of what had gone before, or what was to 
follow, provided he got but his scantling of Burgundy, and a little 
chit-chat along with it." Sterne. The Life and Opinions of Trie- 
tram Shandy, Oent. Til. 21. 

* Equal to negotiations. For Bacon's own translation, "able to 
manage affairs," see Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates, 


rarely ; that is, of such as sacrifice ^ themselves to 
death or danger for the good of their country ; as 
was M. Regulus,^ and the two Decii.^ 

LYI. Of Judicature.* 

Judges ought to remember that their of&ce is jus 
dicere, and not jus dare ; to interpret law, and not to 
make law, or give law. Else will it be like the au- 
thority claimed by the church of Rome, which under 
pretext of exposition of Scripture doth not stick^ to 

* Sacrifice. To make an offering or sacrifice of one's self; to 
devote one's self as an expression of thanksgiving, reconciliation, 
consecration, or penitence. 

^ Marcus Atilius Regulus, a celebrated Roman general and consul, 
who died about 250 B.C. According to Roman tradition, Regulus in 
the first Punic War, after conquering and devastating the country of 
the Carthaginians up to the gates of Carthage, was finally defeated 
and taken prisoner. Some time afterwards, the Carthaginians sent 
Begulus to Rome to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, first exacting 
from him a promise, on oath, that, if he were unsuccessful, he would 
ireturn to captivity. Regulus advised the Roman senate not to con- 
sent to the exchange, on the ground that it would be disadvantageous 
to Rome. Then, true to his oath, he returned to Carthage, where the en- 
raged Carthaginians put him to death in the most barbarous manner. 

8 The two Decii were father and son of the same name, Publius 
Decius Mus, of the plebeian gens of the Decii. The father was 
consul in 340 B.C. In the battle of Mt. Vesuvius in that year, 
Decius, repeating after the chief pontiff a solemn formula by which 
he devoted "the legions and auxiliaries of the enemy along with him- 
self to the Dii Manes and the earth-goddess," then dashed into the 
janks of the Latins, and met a death which was followed by a crush- 
ing defeat of the enemy. (Livy. Till. 9.) The son, Publius D«cius 
Mus, was consul for the fourth time in 295 B.C., and sacrificed himself 
after the manner of his father in the battle of Sentinum, when the left 
wing which he commanded was shaken by the Gauls. (Livy. X. 28.) 

* This essay contains the substance of Bacon's charge as Lord 
Chancellor to Sir Richard Hutton on being created puisne, or junior, 
judge of the common bench. The speech was delivered in the Court of 
Common Pleas, May 3, 1617. Sir Richard Hutton, 1561( ?)-1639, 
was a fellow 'ancient' of Bacon's at Gray's Inn. Bacon on delivering 
him his patent complimented him on possessing the virtues of a judge. 
^ Stick. To scruple; hesitate. 


252 /N ,., . BACON'S BSSAYS ^^ TI^^^^W 

add a la alter ; and to prouounce that which they do ' 

not fi id ; and by shew of antiquity to introduce nov^L^. 
elty. Judges ought to be more learned than witty, / 
more reverend than plausible, and more advised than 
confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion 
and proper virtue. Cursed (saith the law) is he that re- 
nioveth the landmark.^ The mislayer of a mere-stone ^ 
is to blame. But it is the unjust judge that is the 
capital remover of landmarks, when he deflneth 
amiss of lands and property. One foul sentence 
doth more hurt than many foul examples. For 
these do but corrupt the stream, the other corrupteth 
the fountain. So saith Salomon, Fans turbatus, et 
vena corrupta, est Justus cadens in causd sud coram ad- 
versaria.^ The office of judges may have reference 
unto the parties that sue, unto the advocates that 
plead, unto the clerks and ministers of justice under- 
neath them, and to the sovereign or state above them. 
First, for the causes »r parties that sue. There be 
(saith the Scripture) that turn judgment into worm- 
wood ; * and surely there be also that turn it into 
vinegar ; for injustice maketh it bitter, and delays 
make it sour. The principal duty of a judge is to 
suppress force and fraud ; whereof force is the more 
pernicious when it is open, and fraud when it is 
close and disguised. Add thereto contentious suits, 

1 "Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor's landmark." Deuter- 
onomy xxvii. 17. 

2 Mere-stone. A stone to mark a boundary. 
^ A just man falling in his cause before his adversary is as a 

troubled fountain and a corrupt spring. Bacon slightly varies the 
quotation from the Vulgate, "A righteous man falling down before 
the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring." Pro- 
verbs XXV. 26. 

* "Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave ofE righteous- 
ness in the earth," Amos v. 7. 


which ought to be spewed out, as the surfeit of 
courts. A judge ought to prepare his way to a just 
sentence, as Grod useth to prepare his way, by rais- 
ing valleys and taking down hills : so when there 
appeareth on either side an high hand, violent prose- 
cution, cunning advantages taken, combination, 
power, great counsel, then is the virtue of a judge 
seen, to make inequality equal ; that he may plant 
his judgment as upon an even ground. Quifortiter 
emungit, elicit sanguinem ; ^ and where the wine-press 
is hard wrought, it yields a harsh wine, that tastes 
of the grape-stone. Judges must beware of hard 
constructions and strained inferences ; for there is 
no worse tortui-e than the torture of laws. Specially 
in case of laws penal, they ought to have care that 
that which was meant for terror be not turned into 
rigour ; and that they bring not upon the people 
that shower whereof the Scripture speaketh, Pluet 
super eos laqueos ; ^ for penal laws pressed are a 
shower of snares upon the people. Therefore let penal 
laws, if they have been sleepers of ^ long, or if they be 
grown unfit for the present time, be by wise judges 
confined in the execution : Judicis officium est, ut res, 
ita tempera rerum, cfr.* In causes of life and death, 

^ He who wrings the nose hard draws blood. Bacon is quoting 
Proverbs xxx, 33, "Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth 
butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood." 

2 He shall rain snares upon them. "Upon the wicked he shall 
rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest : this shall 
be the portion of tfceir cup." Psalms xi. 6. 

^ Of would now be for ; so in Luke xxiii. 8, "for he was desirous 
to see him of a long season," that is, 'for a long season.' 

* It is the duty of a judge to consider the times as well as the 
circumstances of facts. 

"Judicis officium est, ut res, ita tempora rerum 
P. Ovidii Nasonie Tristium Liber I. Elegia I. 37—38, 


judges ought (as far as the law permitteth) in justice 
to remember mercy; and to cast a severe eye upon 
the example, but a merciful eye upon the person. 

Secondly, for the advocates and counsel that 
plead. Patience and gi-avity of hearing is an essen- 
tial part of justice ; and an overspeaking^ judge is 
no well-tuned cymbal.^ It is no grace to a judge 
first to find that which he might have heard in due 
time from the bar ; or to show quickness of conceit ^ 
in cutting off evidence or counsel too short ; or to 
prevent* information by questions, though perti- 
nent. The parts of a judge in hearing are four: to 
direct the evidence ; to moderate length, repetition, 
or impertinency ^ of speech ; to recapitulate, select, 
and collate the material points of that "which hath 
been said ; and to give the rule or sentence. What- 
soever is above these is too much ; and proceedeth 
either of ^ glory '' and wiUingness to speak, or of 
impatience to hear, or of shortness of memory, 
or of want of a staid and equal attention. It is a 
strange thing to see that the boldness of advo- 
cates should prevail with judges; whereas they 
should imitate God, in whose seat they sit; who 
repressefh the presumptuous and giveth grace^ to the 

^ Overspeahing. That speaks too much. 

^ "Praise him upon tlxe well-tuned cylnbals." 

Psalms cl. 5. The Psaiter. 

^Conceit. Conception ; apprehension. 

* Prevent. To forestall. "For thou preventest him with the 
blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his 
head." Psalm^s xxi. 3. 

■^ Impertinency. Irrelevancy. 

° Of. From. 

' Olory. Vanity ; display. 

' Grace. Favor. "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God 
resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James iv. 6, 


modest. But it is more strange, that judges should 
have noted favourites ; which cannot but cause mul- 
tiplication of fees, and suspicion of bye-ways. There 
is due from the judge to the advocate some commen- 
dation and gracing,! where causes are well handled 
and fair 2 pleaded; especially towards the side 
which obtaiueth not ; for that upholds in the client 
the reputation of his counsel, and beats down in 
him the conceit^ of his cause. There is likewise 
due to the public a eivU reprehension of advocates, 
where there appeareth cunning counsel, gross neg- 
lect, slight information, indiscreet pressing, or an 
over-bold defence. And let not the counsel at the 
bar chop* with the judge, nor wind himself into 
the handling of the cause anew after the judge 
hath declared his sentence ; but on the other side, 
let not the judge meet the cause half way, nor give 
occasion for the party to say his counsel or proofs 
were not heard. 

Thirdly, for that that concerns clerks and min- 
isters. The place of justice is an hallowed place ; 
and therefore not only the bench, but the foot-pace ^ 
and precincts and purprise* thereof, ought to be 
preserved without scandal and corruption. For cer- 

1 Grace. To favor. 

2 Fair. Fairly. 

"Speak me fair in death." 

Shakspere. The Merchant of Venice, iv. 1. 

^ Conceit. Opinion. "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? 
there is more hope of a fool than of him." Proverbs xxvi. 18. 
* Chop. To bandy words. 

"The chopping French we do not understand." 

Shakspere, King Richard II. u. 3. 
^ Foot-pace. Lobby. 
® Purprise. Enclosure. 


tainly €frapes (as the Scripture saith ) will not he 
gathered of thorns or thistles ; ^ neither can justice 
yield her fruit with sweetness amongst the briars 
and brambles of catching and polling ^ clerks and 
ministers. The attendance of courts is subject to 
four bad instruments. First, certain persons that are 
sowers of suits; which make the court swell, and 
the country pine. The second sort is of those that 
engage courts in quarrels of jurisdiction, and are 
not truly amid curia, but parasiti curiae,^ in puffing 
a court up beyond her bounds, for their own scraps* 
and advantage. The third sort is of those that 
may be accounted the left hands of courts ; persons 
that are full of nimble and sinister tricks and shifts, 
whereby they pervert the plain and direct courses of 
courts, and bring justice into oblique lines and laby- 
rinths. And the fourth is the poller and exacter of 
fees ; which justifies the common resemblance of the 
courts of justice to the bush whereunto whUe the 
sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose 
part of his fleece. On the other side, an ancient 
clerk, skilful in precedents, wary in proceedings, and 
understanding in the business of the court, is an ex- 
cellent finger of a court ; and doth many times point 
the way to the judge himself. 

1 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of 
thorns, or figs of thistles?" Matthew vii. 16. 

'Poll. Xo plunder; to exact 'graft.' Poller, a little further on, 
means a plunderer, a 'grafter.' 

' Friends of the court, but parasites of the court. 

• Scrap. In the provincial English of Norfolk, a scrap, or scrape, 
is a quantity of chaff mixed with grain and laid as a decoy to lure 
small birds for the purpose of shooting or netting them; hence, a 
snare. Familiar, in the spelling 'scrape,' meaning a situation of 
difBeulty or perplexity. "Scrap. A villainous scheme or plot 
Grose." A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English. John S 
Farmer and W, E. Benley. 1905. " <■ «. 


Fourtlily, for that which may concern the sov- 
ereign and estate. Judges ought above all to re- 
member the conclusion of the Roman Twelve Tables ; 
Salus populi suprema lex ; ^ and to know that laws, 
except they be in order to that end, are but things 
captious,^ and oracles not well inspired. Therefore 
it is an happy thing in a state when kings and states 
do often consult with judges; and again when 
judges do often consult with the king and state : 
the one, when there is matter of law intervenient ^ 
in business of state ; the other, when there is some 
consideration of state intervenient in matter of 
law. For many times the things deduced to judg- 
ment may be meum and tuum* when the reason and 
consequence thereof may trench to point of estate : ^ 
I call matter of estate, not only the parts of sover- 
eignty, but whatsoever introduceth any great altera- 
tion or dangerous precedent ; or concerneth mani- 
festly any great portion of people. And let no 
man weakly conceive that just laws and true policy 
have any antipathy ; for they are like the spirits and 
sinews, that one moves with the other. Let judges 
also remember, that Salomon's throne was supported 
by lions on both sides : ^ let them be lions, but yet 

1 The safety of the people is the supreme law. The quotation is 
not from the Laws of the XII Tables, but from Cicero, De Legihus 
Liber III. Caput 3. Section 8, where Cicero proposes it as a law for 
the government of his imaginary Republic. 

' Captious. Perplexing. 

2 Intervenient. Intervening. 
* 'Mine' and 'thine.' 

= Estate. State. 

^ "The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round 
behind; and there were stays on either side on the place of the 
seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. 

"And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other 
upon the six steps : there was not the like made in any kingdom," 
I. Eings x. 19 and 80. 


lions under the throne ; being circumspect that they 
do not check or oppose any points of sovereignty. 
Let not judges also be so ignorant of their own 
right, as to think there is not left to them, as a prin- 
cipal part of their offi.ce, a wise use and application 
of laws. For they may remember what the apostle 
saith of a greater law than theirs ; JVos scimus quia 
lex tona est, modo quis ed utatur legitime.^ 

LVII. Of Anger. 

To seek to extinguish Anger utterly is but a 
bravery^ of the Stoics. We have better oracles : 
Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon 
your anger.^ Anger must be limited and confined 
both in race and in time. We will first speak how 
the natural inclination and habit to be angry may 
be attempered* and calmed. Secondly, how the 
particular motions of anger may be repressed, or at 
least refrained^ from doing mischief. Thirdly, 
how to raise anger or appease anger in another. 

1 "But "we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully." 
I. Timothy i, 8. Bacon quotes the Vulgate, varying the language 
slightly. It is there, "Scimus autem quia bona est lex, si quia ea 
legitime utatur." 

^Bravery. Bravado ; boast. 

^ Ephesians iv. 26. 

* Attempered. Tempered. 

'Refrain. To restrain. 

"And thou, O human heart of mine, 
Be still, refrain thyself, and wait." 

Arthur Hugh Clough. Poems on Life and Duty. In u, London 
Square, ii. 

or ANGER 259 

For the first ; there is no other way but to medi- 
tate and ruminate well upon the effects of anger, 
how it troubles man's life. And the best time to 
do this, is to look back upon anger when the fit is 
thoroughly over. Seneca saith well. That anger is 
like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls} The 
Scripture exhorteth us To possess our souls in pa- 
tience.^ Whosoever is out of patience, is out of 
possession of his soul. Men must not turn bees ; 

animasque in viilnere ponunt.' 

Anger is certainly a bind of baseness ; as it ap- 
pears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom 
it reigns; children, women, old folks, sick folks. 
Only men must beware that they carry their anger 
rather with scorn than with fear ; so that they may 
seem rather to be above the injury than below it ; 
which is a thing easily done, if a man will give law 
to himself in it. 

For the second point ; the causes and motives of 
anger are chiefly three. First, to be too sensible of 
hurt ; for no man is angry that feels not himself 
hurt ; and therefore tender and deHcate persons must 
needs be oft* angry; they have so many things to 
trouble them, which more robust natures have 
little sense of. The next is, the apprehension and 
construction of the injury offered to be, in the cir- 
cumstances thereof, f uU of contempt : for con- 

1 "Buinis Hmillima, quae super id quod oppresaere franguntur." 
Seneca. De Ira. Liber I. 1. 

^ "In your patience possess ye your souls." Luke xxi. X9. 

= And put their lives in the sting. P. Yergili Maronis Georgicon 
Liber IT. 2S8. Bees were supposed to die when they lost their stings. 

» Oft. Often. 


tempt is that which putteth an edge upon an- 
ger, as much or more than the hurt itself. And 
therefore when men are ingenious in picking out 
circumstances of contempt, they do kindle their 
anger much. Lastly, opinion of the touch^ of a 
man's reputation doth multiply and sharpen anger. 
Wherein the remedy is, that a man should have, as 
Consalvo was wont to say, telam honoris crassiorem? 
But in all refrainings of anger, it is the best remedy 
to win time ; and to make a man's self believe, that 
the opportunity of his revenge is not yet come, but 
that he foresees a time for it ; and so to still himself 
in the mean time, and reserve it. 

To contain^ anger from mischief, though it take 
hold of a man, there be two things whereof you 
must have special caution. The one, of extreme 
bitterness of words, especially if they be aculeate^ 
and proper ; ^ for communia maledicta '' are nothing 
so much ; and again, that in anger a man reveal no 
secrets; for that makes him not fit for society. 

'^ Touch. Censure; blame. "I never bare any touch of conscience 
with greater regret." Eikon Basilike. 

' A thicker web of honor. Consalvo is Gonzalo Fernandez y 
Aguilar, 1453-1515, commonly called Gonsalvo de Cordova, or El 
Gran Capitan, 'the Great Captain.' He commanded the armies of 
3?erdinand the Catholic, and took an active part in the conquest of 
Granada. "Consalvo would say: The honour of a soldier ought to 
be of a good strong web; meaning, that it should not be so fine and 
curious, that every little disgrace should catch and stick to it." 
Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 180 (S9). Compare also, 
Advancement of Learning, II. xx. 12. 

^ Contain. Restrain. 

"We can contain ourselves. 
Were he the veriest antic in the world." 
Shakspere. The Taming of the Shrew. Induction, i. 

* Aculeate. Pointed; incisive; stinging. 
•* Proper. Appropriate. 

* General reproaches. 


The other, that you do not peremptorily break off, 
in any business, in a fit of anger ; but howsoever 
you shew bitterness, do not act anything that is 
not revocable. 

For raising and appeasing anger in another ; it 
is done chiefly b/ choosing of times, when men are 
frowardest and worst disposed, to incense them. 
Again, by gathering (as was touched before) all that 
you can find out to aggravate the contempt. And the 
two remedies are by the contraries. The former 
to take good times, when first to relate to a man an 
angry 1 business ; for the first impression is much ; 
and the other is, to sever, as much as may be, the 
construction of the injury from the point of con- 
tempt ; imputing it to misunderstanding, fear, pas- 
sion, or what you wiU. 

LVni. Of Vicissitxide of Things. 

Salomon saith. There is no new thing upon the 
earth? So that as Plato had an imagination. That 
all knowledge was hut remembrance;^ so Salomon 
giveth his sentence. That all novelty is but oblivion. 
Whereby you may see that the river of Lethe run- 

^ Angry. Provoking anger; irritating. 

^ E cclesiastes i. 9. 

^ The doctrine that 'all knowledge is but remembrance' is ex- 
pounded by Plato in the two Dialogues, Phaedo, 72 and Meno, 81. 
In "The First Book of Francis Bacon; of the Proficience and Ad- 
vancement of Learning, Divine and Human, To the King," Bacon 
asserts, with fulsome flattery, "I have often thought, that of all the 
persons living that I have known, your Majesty were the best in- 
stance to make a man of Plato's opinion, that all knowledge is but 


netii as well above ground as below. There is an 
abstruse astrologer that saith, if it were not for two 
things that are constant, (the one is, that the fixed stars 
ever stand at like distance one from another, and never 
come nearer together, nor go further asunder ; the other, 
that the diurnal motion perpetually Jceepeth time,) no in- 
dividual would last one moment. Certain it is, that the 
matter is in a perpetual flux/ and never at a stay. 
The great winding-sheets, that bury all things 
in oblivion, are two; deluges and earthquakes. 
As for conflagrations and great droughts, they 
do not merely dispeople and destroy. Phaeton's^ 
car went but a day. And the three years' drought 
in the time of Elias^ was but particular,* and left 
people alive. As for the great burning by light- 
nings, which are often in the West Indies, they are 
but narrow. But in the other two destructions, by 
deluge and earthquake, it is further to be noted, 
that the remnant of people which hap^ to be re- 

^ Flux. A continuous succession of changes of condition, corn- 
portion, or substance; fluctuation. "The language of this country 
being always upon the flux, the struldbrugs of one age do not under- 
stand those of another." Swift. Travels into several Remote Na- 
tions of the World. By Lerrmel Gulliver. A Voyage to Laputa, etc. 
Part III. Chapter 10. 

2 Phaeton, or Phaethon, in Greek mythology, was the son of 
Helios and Clymene. He obtained permission from Helios to drive' 
the chariot of the sun across the heavens for one day, but unable to 
check his horses he was overthrown and nearly set the world on 
fire. To punish his presumption Zeus struck him with a thunder- 
bolt and cast him into the river Po. 

^ I. Kings xvii. 1. and xviii. 1. 

^Particular. Partial, not universal. " 'T is ridiculous to put 
off, or drown, the general flood of Noah in that particular inunda- 
tion of Deucalion." Sir Thomas Browne. Religio Medici. Pari I. 
Section gg. 

" Sap. To have the 'hap,' fortune, or luck ('to do' something, or 
with clause) ; happen. 

"Hap what hap may, I '11 roundly go about her." 

Shalcspere. The Taming of the Shrew, iv. 5. 


served, are commonly ignorant and mountainous 
people, that can give no account of the time past ; 
so that the oblivion is all one^ as if none had been 
left. If you consider well of the people of the "West 
Indies, it is very probable that they are a newer or 
a younger people than the people of the old world. 
And it is much more Ukely that the destruction that 
hath heretofore been there, was not by earthquakes 
(as the Egyptian priest told Solon concerning 
the island of Atlantis,^ tliat it was swallowed by 
an earthquake), but rather that it was desolated by a 
particular deluge. For earthquakes are seldom in 
those parts. But on the other side, they have such 
pouring rivers, as^ the rivers of Asia and Africk 
and Europe are but brooks to them. Their Andes 
likewise, or mountains, are far higher than those 
with us ; whereby it seems that the remnants of 
generation of men were in such a particular deluge 
saved. As for the observation that Maehiavel hath, 
that the jealousy of sects doth much extinguish 
the memory of things ; ^ traducing^ Gregory the 

^ All one. One and the same; quite the same. *'Aweel, sir, if ye 
think it wadna be again the law, it 's a' ane to Dandie." Scott. 
Guy Mannering. XXXVI. 

^ For the conversation between Solon and the Egyptian priest, 
"a man well stricken in years," see The TiTnaeus of Plato, 
III. 21-2S, pp. 67 — 81, in edition of R. D. Archer-Hind, 1888. 

' As. That. 

* Bacon has in mind here Book II., Chapter Y., of Machiavelli's 
Discourses upon the First Decad of Livy, "That Deluges, Pestilences, 
the change of Religion and Languages, and other accidents, in a 
manner extinguish the memory of m.any things." St. Gregory is the 
only individual Machiavelli charges with destroying "the monuments 
of antiquity, defacing images and statues, and demoralizing every 
thing that might in any wise contribute to keep the memory of 
paganism alive." 

° Traduce. To misrepresent ; censure. 


Great/ that he did what in him lay to extinguish all 
heathen antiquities; I do not find that those zeals ^ 
do any great effects, nor last long; as it appeared 
in the succession of Sabinian,^ who did revive the 
former antiquities. 

The vicissitude or mutations in the Superior 
Globe are no fit matter for this present argument. 
It may be, Plato's great year,* if the world should 
last so long, would have some effect/ not in renew- 
ing the state of like individuals, (for that is the 
fume® of those that conceive the celestial bodies 
have more accurate influences upon these things 
below than indeed they have,) but in gross.® 
Comets, out of question, have likewise power and 

1 Gregory the Great, Saint Gregory, lived from about 540 to 604 
A.D., and was Pope, 590 — 604. In the year 597, Gregory sent 
Augustine and a hand of forty monks to Ethelbert, King of Kent, 
and within the space of a year Ethelbert had embraced Christianity, 
together with some ten thousands of his subjects. 

^ Zeal. Enthusiasm ; fervor. No longer used in the plural. 

^ Pope Sabinian, died 606 a.d. He was the immediate successor 
of Gregory the Great. 

* "Plato's great year," or the perfect year, will be rounded out 
when all the planets return to one and the same region of the 
heavens at the same time. As to its duration, there is no agree- 
ment among the ancients. Tacitus, on the authority of Cicero, gives 
it 12,954 years, but Cicero himself expresses no opinion. Plato 
discusses the problem in the Timaeus, XI, 38 and 39. 

"^ Fume. Something which 'goes to the head' and clouds the 
faculties or the reason. 

"The charm dissolves apace; 
And as the morning steals upon the night, 
Melting the darkness, so their rising senses 
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle 
Their clearer reason." 

Shakspere. Xhe Tempest, v. 1. 

"Zm gross, or in the gross. In a general way; generally; without 
going into particulars; in the main; on the whole. 

"The unlettered Christian, who believes in gross. 
Plods on to heaven, and ne'er is at a loss." 

Dryden. Beligio Laid. U. Sgg~S2S. 


effect over tlie gross ^ and mass of things ; but they 
are rather gazed upon, and waited upon in their 
journey, than wisely observed in their effects; 
specially in their respective effects ; that is, what 
kind of comet, for magnitude, colour, version^ of 
the beams, placing in the region of heaven, or 
lasting, produceth what kind of effects. 

There is a toy which I have heard, and I would 
not have it given over, but waited upon a little. 
They say it is observed in the Low Countries (I 
know not in what part) that every five and thirty 
years the same kind of suit ^ of years and weathers 
comes about again ; as great frosts, great wet, great 
droughts, warm winters, summers with little heat, 
and the like ; and they caU it the Prime. It is a 
thing I do the rather mention, because, computing 
backwards, I have found some conciirrence. 

But to leave these points of nature, and to come 
to men. The greatest vicissitude of things amongst 
men, is the vicissitude of sects and religions. 
For those orbs rule in men's minds most. The true 
religion is built upon the rock; * the rest are tossed 
upon the waves of time. To speak therefore of the 
causes of new sects ; and to give some counsel con- 
cerning them, as far as the weakness of human 
judgment can give stay to so great revolutions. 

^ Gross. The greater part; the majority; the bulk. "The gross 
of an audience is composed of two sorts of people, those who tnow 
no pleasure but of the body, and those who improve or command 
corporeal pleasures by the addition of fine sentiments of the mind." 
Steele. The Spectator. No. S02. 

^Version. A turning round or about, change of direction, 

^ Suit. Series; succession; regular order. 

^ "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this 
rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not preyail 
against it." Matthew xvi. 18. 


When the religion formerly received is rent by 
discords ; and when the holiness of the professors of 
religion is decayed and full of scandal; and withal ^ 
the times be stupid, ignorant, and barbarous ; you 
may doubt the springing up of a new sect ; if then 
also there should arise any extravagant and strange 
spirit to make himself author thereof. All which 
points held when Mahomet published his law. If 
a new sect have not two properties, fear it 
not; for it will not spread. The one is, the 
supplanting or the opposing of authority estab- 
lished; for nothing is more popular than that. 
The other is, the giving licence to pleasures and a 
voluptuous life. For as for speculative heresies, 
(such as were in ancient times the Arians,^ and 
now the Arminians,) ^ though they work mightily 
upon men's wits, yet they do not produce any great 
alterations in states ; except it be by the help of 
civil occasions. There be three manner of planta- 
tions of new sects. By the power of signs and 
miracles ; by the eloquence and wisdom of speech 
and persuasion ; and by the sword. For martyr- 
doms, I reckon them amongst miracles ; because 

^Withal. With all; in addition; besides. "For it seemeth to me 
unreasonable, to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the 
crimes laid against him," Acts xxv, 27. 

' The Arians were the followers of Arius, a deacon of Alexandria, 
who lived in the fourth century. Arius maintained the divinity of 
Jesus Christ, but held that his nature was not co-equal with that 
of God, not the same nature, but a similar and subordinate one. 

^ The Arminians of Bacon's time were the followers of Arminius, 
who was a Dutch Protestant divine of Leyden, named Jacobus Har- 
mensen, 1560-1609. Their doctrines, 'The Remonstrance,' pub- 
lished in 1610, expressed their divergence from strict Calvinism, 
chiefly their objection to predestination, in five articles, and was 
presented to the states of Holland and West Friesland. The 
Arminians are sometimes called 'Remonstrants.' 


they seem to exceed the strength of human nature : 
and I may do the like of superlative and admirable 
holiness of life. Surely there is no better way to 
stop the rising of new sects and schisms, than to 
reform abuses; to compound the smaller differ- 
ences ; to proceed mildly, and not with sanguinary 
persecutions ; and rather to take off the principal 
authors by winning and advancing them, than to 
enrage them by violence and bitterness. 

The changes and vicissitude in wars are manj-- ; 
but chiefly in three things ; in the seats or stages of 
the war ; in the weapons ; and in the manner of the 
conduct. Wars, in ancient time, seemed more to 
move from east to west ; for the Persians, Assyrians, 
Arabians, Tartars, (which were the iavaders,) were 
all eastern people. It is true, the Ganls were west- 
ern ; but we read but of two incursions of theirs : 
the one to Gallo-G-rsBcia, the other to Rome. But 
East and "West have no certain points of heaven ; 
and no more have the wars, either from the east or 
west, any certainty of observation. But North and 
South are fixed ; and it hath seldom or never been 
seen that the far southern people have invaded the 
northern, but contrariwise. Whereby it is manifest 
that the northern tract of the world is in nature the 
more martial region : be it in respect of the stars of 
that hemisphere ; or of the great continents ; that 
are upon the north, whereas the south part, for 
aught that is known, is almost all sea ; or (which is 
most apparent) of the cold of the northern parts, 
which is that which, without aid of discipline, doth 
make the bodies hardest, and the courage warmest. 


Upon the breaking and shivering of a great state 
and empire, you may be sure to have wars. For 
great empires, while they stand, do enervate and 
destroy the forces of the natives which they have 
subdued, resting upon their own protecting forces ; 
and then when they fail also, all goes to ruin, and 
they become a prey. So was it in the decay of 
the Eoman empire ; and likewise in the empire of 
Almaigne,^ after Charles the Great,^ every bird 
taking a feather ; and were not unlike to befal^ to 
Spain, i£ it should break. The great accessions and 
unions of kingdoms do likewise stir up wars : for 
when a state grows to an over-power,* it is Hke a 
great flood, that will be sure to overflow. As it 
hath been seen in the states of Eome, Turkey, 
Spain and others. Look when the world hath 
fewest barbarous peoples, but such as commonly, 
will not marry or generate, except they know 
means to live, (as it is almost everywhere at this 
day, except Tartary,) there is no danger of inun- 
dations^ of people : but when there be great shoals 

^ AlTnaigne. Germany, 

' Charles the Great, Carolus Magnus, Charlemagne, lived from 
742 or 747 to 814, King of the Franks, and Emperor of the Romans. 

'Befall. To fall out in the course of events, to happen, to occur 
(with 'to,* 'unto,' or 'upon'). Archaic. 

"Say, goddess, what ensu'd when Raphael, 
The affable archangel, had forewarn'd 
Adam by dire example to beware 
Apostasy, by what iefel in Heaven 
To those apostates." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. YII, 40—44. 

* Over-power. A superior, or supreme power. 

*• Inundation. An overspreading or overwhelming in superfluous 
abuTidance; superabundance. "What inundation of life and thought 
is discharged from one soul into another through them I The glance 
[of the eyes] is natural magic." Emerson. Conduct of Life. Be- 


of people, whicli go on to populate, without fore- 
seeing means of life and sustentation,i it is of 
necessity tliat once in an age or two they discharge 
a portion of their people upon other nations; 
which the ancient northern people were wont to do 
by lot ; casting lots what part should stay at home, 
and what should seek their fortunes. When a war- 
like state grows soft and effeminate, they may be 
sure of a war. For commonly such states are 
grown rich in the time of their degenerating ; and 
so the prey inviteth, and their decay in valour en- 
courageth a war. 

As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule 
and observation : yet we see even they have re- 
turns and vicissitudes. For certain it is, that 
ordnance was known in the city of the Oxidrakes 
in India; and was that which the Macedonians 
called thunder and lightning, and magic. And it 
is well known that the use of ordnance hath been 
in China above two thousand years. The con- 
ditions of weapons, and their improvement, are. 
First, the fetching ^ afar off ; for that outruns the 
danger; as it is seen in ordnance and muskets. 
Secondly, the strength of the percussion ; wherein 
likewise ordnance do exceed aU arietations* and 
ancient inventions. The third is, the commodious 
use of them ; as that they may serve in aU wea- 

^ Sustentation. Support, especially/, the support of life, suste- 
nance, Tnaintenance. 

'Fetch. To 'have at,' reach, strike (a person). 

"Come away, or I 'II fetch thee with a wanion," 

ShaJcspere. Pericles, Prince of Tyre. ii. 1. 

'" Arietation. The action of hutting, like a ram; hence, the strik- 
ing with a hattering-ram, or similar moxhine. 


thers ; that the carriage may be light and manage- 
able ; and the like. 

For the conduct of the war : at the first, men 
rested extremely upon number : they did put the 
wars likewise upon main force and valour ; pointing 
days for pitched fields/ and so trying it out upon 
an even match : and they were more ignorant in 
ranging and arraying their battles.^ After they 
grew to rest upon number rather competent than 
vast; they grew to^ advantages of place, cunning 
diversions, and the like : and they grew more skilful 
in the ordering of their battles. 

In the youth of a state, arms do flourish ; in the 
middle age of a state, learning ; and then both of 
them together for a time ; in the declining age of 
a state, mechanical arts and merchandise.* Learn- 
ing hath his infancy, when it is but beginning 
and almost childish : then his youth, when it is, 
luxuriant and juvenile : then his strength of years 

^Vield. A. battle. 

"What though the field be lost? 
All is not lost; the unconquerable will, 
And study of revenge, immoital hate, 
And courage never to submit or yield, 
And what is else not to be overcome; 
That glory never shall his wrath or might 
Extort from me." 

Milton. Paradise Lost. I. 105—110. 

^Battle. A body or line of troops in battle array, whether an 
entire army, or one of its main divisions; battalion. 

"In battles four beneath their eye, 
The forces of King Robert lie." 

Scott. The Lord of the Isles. TI. x. 

' So in original. A word appears to have dropped out, such as 
seele, or something equivalent. The translation has captabant. S. 

* With this sentence, compare Advancement of Learning, II. x. 


when it is solid and reduced:^ and lastly, his 
old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.^ But it is 
not good to look too long upon these turning wheels 
of vicissitude, lest we become giddy. As for the 
philology ^ of them, that is but a circle of tales, and 
therefore not fit for this writing.^ 

^ Beduce. To subject; to make subject to one; to bring under 
one, into or under one's power, within bounds. 

* Exhaust. Exhausted. 

" Philology. The love or study of learning and literature. Bacon 
uses the word philology in its old sense, (the study of literature gen- 
erally, the relation of literature and literary records to history, etc. 
The modem sense limits philology to the study of language or lin- 

* In connection with this essay, read in the Wisdom of the An- 
cients, Nemesis; or the Vicissitude of Things. 



Abbott, E. A., bacx 

Abstemms, Laurentius (Lorenzo 

Bevilagua), 243 
Abuse, 194, 231 
Accept of, 15 
Accessary, 107 
Accommodate, 14 
Actium, 144 

Acts, 12, 19, 46, 143, 266 
Aculeate, 260 
Adamant, 80 
Addison, Josepb, 75 
Address to the Deil, xci, 105 • 
Ado, 36 

Adulatore et amico, De, 4:4= 
Adust, 171 
Advancement, 164 
Advancetnent of Learning, xliv, 
lii, 5, 10, 18, 25, 28, 34, 43, 
50, 57, 61, 69, 71, 84, 106, 
132, 204, 234, 235, 240, 
261, 270 
Adventure, 5, 163 
ADVEESITY, OP, Ixxi, xciv, 22 
Advised, 81 
Advoutress, 87 
Aeneid, 61, 137, 165 
Aeschines, 135 
Aesop, 179, 202, 204, 243 
A Oat and Venue, 180 
A Cock and a Diamond, 55 
A Fly upon a Wheel, 243 
Momus, 204 
Aesofn fabulae Graeco-latinae, 

Aesopi Phrygis et Aliorum Fa- 
bulae, 244 
Aestivation, 209 
Affect, 3, 180 
Affection, 31 
After, 181 
Agamemnon, 17 
Agesilaus II., 37, 187, 202 
Agricolae, Yita Julii, 9, 242 
Agrippa, 121 
Alchemist, The, 172 
Alcibiades, 197 
Alcibiades, Life of, 199 


Alcoran, 71 

Alexander the Great, 83, 88, 

134, 166, 198 
Alexander, Life of, 166 
Alfonso X., 249 
All one, 263 
Allay, 6 
Alley, 100 
Allow, 79 

All 's Well that Ends Well, 183 
Almaigne, 268 
Almost, 197 
Amos, 252 

Amyot, Jacques, Ixxvi, 76 
Anabaptist, 18 
Anathema, 57 
Anatomy of Melancholy, The. 

3, 22, 77 
Anaxagoras, xxx 
And, 108 
ANGEB, OF, 258 
Angry, 261 
Annales, 9, 25, 86, 102, 104 

121, 164, 241 
Anselm, St., 88 
Answer, 192 
Antecamera, 209 
Antic, 177 
Antimasque, 177 
Antiochus III., 244 
Antoninus Pius, 235 
Antony, 21, 43, 120, 121, 135, 

144, 236 
Antony and Cleopatra, 43, 77, 

124, 227 
Antony, Life of, Ixxvi, 57 
Apelles, 198 
Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 

Apologie or aunswer in defence 
of the Church of England, 
Apology in Certain Imputations 
concerning the late Earl of 
Essex, xxxvii, xlii, xliii 
Apophthegmes New and Old, lii, 
Ixxxvii, 20, 24, 35, 55, 67, 



69, 84, 96, 100, 112, 125, 
197, 199, 239, 260 
Apparent, 184 
Appetite, 226 
Appian of Alexandria, The 

Roman History of, 166 
Appius and Yvrginia, 43 
Appolloni Tyanensi, Tita, 84 
Appollonius of Tyana, 83, 84, 118 
Appose, 108 
Apprehend, 228 
Apricock, 214 
Apt, 134 
Arbitrement, 14 
Arclier-Hmd, E. I>., 263 
Argos, 99 
Argument, 133 
Arians, 266 
Arietation, 269 
Aristander, 166 
Aristippus, 100 
Aristophanes, 169 
Aristotle, xx, xxii, Ixii, Ixxv, 72, 
116, 245 
Metaphysics, 245 
Nichomachean Ethics, 245 
Poetics, 245 
Politics, 117, 245 
Rhetoric, 245 
Armada, sxvi, xxviii, 168 
Arminians, 266 
Arrogancy, 40 

Artichokes of Hierusalem, 155 
Arundel, 2d Earl of (see, 

Thomas Howard) 
As, 16, 25, 72, 85, 103, 121, 
130, 132, 181, 189, 208. 
246, 248, 263 
Ascham, Roger, Ixxxiv 
Assay, 62 
Assured, 70 
As You Like It, 81, 113, 162, 

169, 240 
ATHEISM, OF, Ixxvi, 71 
Atlanticus, 170 
Atlantis, 170 
Attempered, 258 
Attic style, Ixxii, Ixxiii 
Attieus, Titus Pomponius, 143, 

Aubrey, John, Ixv 
Audits, 161' 
Augmentis Sdentiarutn, De, 

xxiii, lii 
Augustae Historiae Scriptores, 

38, 70, 194 
Augustine, St., Ixxvi, 4 
Augustine, The Confessions of, 4 
Augustus, 9, 21, 25, 77, 121, 
144, 166, 172, 194, 197, 
236, 249 
Aurelianus, 249 
Aurelius, Marcus, 122 

Austin, Sarah, 32 

Authorized Version, Ixxvi, Ixxxv, 

Ixxxix, xc, 106, 180, 183 
Aversation, 117 
Avert, 12 
Avoidance, 210 
Away, 241 

Bacon (English Men of Let- 
ters), 114 
Bacon, Anne Cooke, xv, xvi, 
xvii, xviii, xix, xxv, xxxv, 
xlvii, Iv, xciv 
Bacon, Anthony, xv, xvii, xix, 
XX, xxv, xxxii, xxxiv, xxxv, 
xxxvii, xli, xiiii, Ixviii, Ixix, 
Bacon, Edward, xvii 
Bacon, Francis 
Ancient of Gray's Inn, xxii, 

Anecdotes of, xx, xxi, xxiii, 
xxiv, xxvi, xxvii, xxxiv, 
xxxix, xliJi. ^iiij 1^" 
Attorney- General, xlvii 
Baron Verulam, xlvii 
• Birth, XV 

Character, Ivii, Iviii, xcv, xcvi 
Death and burial, liii, liv 
Diplomatic service, xxii, xxiii 
Fall and condemnation, 

xlviii, xlix, 1, li 
Knignthood, xliv 
Lord Chancellor, xlvii 
Lord Keeper, xlvii 
Marriage, xliv 

Member of House of .Com- 
mons, xxvi, xxvii, Ixvi, xcii, 
Portraits, liv, Iv, Ivi, Ivii 
Privy Councillor, xlvii 
Queen's Counsel Extraor- 
dinary, xxxvii, xxxix, xli, 
Solicitor-General, xlv 
Undergraduate, xx, xxi, xxii 
Viscount St. Alban, xlvii 
Will, liv, Ivii, Iviii 
Works : 
Advancement of Learning, 
xliv, lii, 5, 10, 18, 25, 28, 
34, 43, 50, 57, 61, 69, 71, 
84, 106, 132, 204, 234, 
235, 240, 261, 270 
Apology in Certain Imputa- 
tions concerning the late 
Earl of Essex, xxxvii, xlii, 
Apophthegmes New and Old, 
lii, Ixxxvii, 20, 24, 35, 55, 
67, 69, 84, 96, 100, 112, 
125, 197, 199, 239, 260 



Augmentis Scientiarum, De, 

xxiii, lii 
Controversies of the Church 
of England, An Advertise- 
ment touching the, xxviii 

Colours of Good and Evil, 
Of the, xxxvii 

Commentarius Solutus, Ixiv, 

Custumae aptae ad Indivi- 
duum, xxvii 

Declaration of the Practises 
and Treasons attempted 
and committed by Robert 
late Earle of Essex, A, 

Discourse of the Plantation 
in Ireland, Ixvii 

Essaies (second edition), 
xlvii, Ixx, 183, 200 

Essay es (first edition), 

Essayes or Counsels, Civill 
and Morall, lii, Ixi, Ixiii, 
Ixvii, Ixxii, Ixxiii, Ixxvii, 
Ixxix, Ixxx, Ixxxii, Ixxxv, 
Ixxxviii, xc, xciv, xcv, xcvi, 
129, 207 

Francis Bacon (Great Eng- 
lishmen of th e Sixteenth 
Century), Ivii 

Francis Bacon : Sis Life and 
Philosophy, liv, Ivi 

Historic of the Raigne of 
King Henry the Seventh, 
The, lii, 137, 167 

In^tauratio Magna, xlviii 

Letter of Advice to Queen 
Elizabeth, xxvii, xxviii 

Letter to Lord Burghley, 
xxix, XXX, xxxi 

Lord Baoon, Iv, Ixxx 

Masques, xxxii, xlvii, xlviii, 
Ixv, Ixxxii 

Meditationes Sacrae, xxxvii 

Novum Organum, xlviii 

Opera Moralia et Civilia, lii 

Saggi Morali del Signore 
Francesco Bacono, 129 

Sapientia Yeterum, De, xlvii, 
23, 129 

Sermones Fideles sive Inte- 
riora Rerum, lii 

Sylva Sylvarum: or A Na- 
tural History, xxi, xxiii, 
xxiv, lii, liii, Ixi, 175, 179, 

Temporis Partus Maximus, 
xxviii, xlviii 

Union of the Kingdoms of 
England and Scotland. 
C&rtain Articles or Consid- 
erations touching the, Ixvii 

Works of Francis Bacon, 
The, liii, Iv, Ivi, Ivii, 15, 
37, 54, 61, 62, 76, 90, 91, 
94, 154, 165, 178, 182, 
199, 204, 270 
Works of Francis Bacon, 
Lord Chancellor of Eng- 
land, The, Iv 
Bacon, Sir Nathaniel, xvii, liv 
Bacon, Sir Nicholas, xv, xvi, 
xvii, xxiv, li, liv, Iv, Ixv, 220 
Bacon, Sir Nicholas, 2d, xvii 
Bajazet II., 88 
Banquet, 206 
Barberry, 215 
Barnham, Alice, xliv 
Barnham, Benedict, xlv 
Barriers, 177 

Barriers, Prince Henry's, 177 
Bartholomew Fair, 191, 215 
Bartholomew-tide, 17, 216 
Battle, 270 
Baugii and May, 168 
Bay, 216 
Bay-salt, 157 
Bean-flower, 217 
Bear, 115 
Bear out, 226 
Bear's-foot, 223 
Beat over, 235 
Beaumont, Francis, xlviii, Ixxxii, 

Beaumont and Fletcher 
Four Plays in One, 174 
The Honest Man's Fortune, 14 
The Maid's Tragedy, 123 
BEAUTY, OF, 197 
Beaver, 167 
Because, 33, 111 
Become, 208 
Bedford, Earl of (see, Francis 

Befall to, 268 
Beggar, 116 
Beholding, 42 
Belike, 237 

Bellum Jugurthinum, 84 
Belly, 98 

Bernard, St., Ixxvi, 74 
Life and Works of Saint Ber- 
nard, 15 
S. Bernardus. Ad Pastores in 
Synodo Congregatos sermo, 
Bias, 107 
Acts, 12, 19, 46, 143, 266 
Amos, 252 

1 Corinthians, 12, 118, 198, 
201, 216 

2 Corinthians, 52, 209, 243 
Daniel, 13, 16, ISST, 250 
Deuteronomy, 252 



Ecclesiastes, xc, 160, 240, 

241, 261 
Ephesians, 258 
Esther, 206 
Exodus, 11, 17, 113 
Genesis, 6, 15, 17, 47, 61, 

135, 172, 187 
Eebrews, 8, 162 
Isaiah, 18, 91, 245 
James, 19, 117, 126, 254 
Jeremiah, 111, 244 
■7^06, 21, 63 
Joel, 195 

John, 3, 111, 117 
i John, 201 
Joshua, 122 
Judges, 17, 182 

1 ffinffS, 257, 262 

2 Kings, 14 

im/fce, 7, 10, 11, 14, 56, 94, 

187, 230, 253, 269 
Mark, 14, 133, 198 
Matthew, 12, 14, 18, 20, 42, 

55, 56, 85, 124, 146, 256, 

Nehemiah, 102 
Philippians, 4 
Proverbs, Ixxxvi, xc, 19, 30, 

40, 50, 82, 91, 106, 147, 

160, 161, 164, 242, 252, 

253, 255 
Psalms, 12, 15, 20, 72, 101, 

132, 180, 183, 197, 216, 

253, 254 
Revelation, 14, 206 
Romans, 7, 57, 60, 158, 200, 


1 Samuel, 165 

2 Samuel, 94 

2 ThessaXonians, 140 

1 Timothy, 16, 195, 258 

2 Timothy, 114 
Zephaniah, 200 

Bible in English style, Ixxxviii, 

Biblia Sacra (see, Vulgate) 
Bion, 74 

BlacTcbird, The, 214 
Blacks, 8 
Blanch, 115 
Boccaccio, Giovanni, Ix 
Bodley, Sir Thomas, 103 
Boiardo, Matteo Maria, 74 
Botany, The Elements of, 215 
Bradshaw, John, 27 
Brave, 68, 157 
Bravery, 48, 174, 258 
Brent, Sir Nathaniel, btxix, 78 
Briareiis, 99 
Broke, 162 
Broken music, 174 
Browne, Sir Thomas, 9, 262 

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 

Browning, Robert, 160 
Bruit, 244 
Brutus, 196 

Brutus, Decimus Junius, 120 
Brutus, Marcus Junius, 21, 166, 

Brutus, Marcus, Life of, Ixxvi, 

Buckingham, Duke of (see, 

George Villiers) 
Buckle, 99 

BQILDING, OF, Ixv, 203 
BuUace, 215 
Bullen, A. H., 22 
Bunyan, John 
Grace Abounding to the Chief 

of Sinners, 10 
The Pilgrim's Progress, 156 
Burghley, Lord (see, William 

Burnet, 218 
Burns, Robert, xci, 105 
Burrhus, or Burrus, Airanius, 

Burse, 80 

Burton, Robert, 3, 22, 77 
Busbec, Augier Ghislen de, 54 
Busy, 220 
Butler, Samuel, 6 
Buzz, 150 
By, 143 

Byron, George Gordon Noel, 72 
Childe Harold, 178 
Letters and Journals of Lord 
Byron; With Notices of his 
Life. T. Moore. (New 
TorJc, 1831), 4, 72 
The Works of Lord Byron. A 
New, Revised and Enlarged 
Edition, with Illustrations. 
Letters and Journals. R. E. 
Prothero, 22 

Caesar, Cains Julius, xx, Ixxii, 
Ixxiii, Ixxv, Ixxxvi, Ixxxvii, 
21, 64, 69, 108, 115, 144, 
186, 193, 236, 249 
Julius Caesar, 31, 59, 64, 73, 
125, 147, 148, 184 

Caesar, Life of, Ixxvi, 120, 166, 

Caesaribus, De XII., Ixxv, 9, 69, 
166, 167 

Calpurnia, 120 

Camden, William, xv 

Can, 47 

Captious, 257 

Caracalla, 83 

Care, 195 

Carleton, Sir Dudley, xliv, 200 

Carneades, 3 



Carr, Robert, Earl of Somerset, 

Cashiered, 237 

Cassius, 21, 236 

Cast, 208 

Castoreum, 119 

Cat and Venus, A, 180 

Catch, 175 

Catchpole, 243 

Cato, Dionysius, 98 

Cato, Marcus Porcius, 185 

Catonis Distichorum de Mori- 
bus, 98 

Catullus, Caius Valerius, Ixxii 

Cecil, Mildred Cooke, xviii, xix 

Cecil, Sir Robert, Earl of Salis- 
bury, xvii, xxvi, xxviii, xxxiv, 
XXXV, xxxviii, xliv, xlv, Ixiv, 
Ixvii, 103, 154, 200 

Cecil, WiUiain, Lord Burghley, 
xviii, xxviii, xxix, xxxii, xxxvi, 

Celsus, Aulus Cornelius, 148 


Certayne Sermons, xix 

Cessions, 246 

Chamai'ris, 212 

Chamber of presence, 208 

Chamberlain, John, xliv 

Chamberlain, Nicholas, 200 

Chapman, George, xliv 
Eastward Hoe, xliv 
The Masque of the Middle 
Temple and Lincoln's Inn, 

Chapmen, 162 

Charge, 245 

Charlemagne, 268 

Charles the Bold, Ixxvii, 122, 

Charles, Prince (Charles L), 

Charles V., 83, 85 

Charon, 135 

Chaucer, Geofl6rey, lix, 217 
The Clerk's Tale, 237 
The Doctor's Tale, 43 
The Knight's Tale, 77, 122 
The Prologue, 110, 213 

Cheek with, 44, 149 

Chesterfield, The hetters of Philip 
Dormer Stanhope, Earl of, 27 

Childe Harold, 178 

Chop, 255 

Church, R. W., Ixxx, 114 

Churchmen, 33 

Cicero, Marcus Tullius_, xx, Ixxii, 
Ixxiii, Ixxv, xc, xcii, 75, 115, 
143, 160, 205, 246, 248, 
Brutus, 196 
Epistolae, 46, 108, 144 

Legibus, De, 257 

Orationes, 76, 115, 121, 160 

Orators, De, 34, 205 

Philippicae, 121, 135 

Bhetorica, 198 

Tusculanae, 182, 245 
Cicero, Quintus Tullius, 248 
Oiceronis Scripta Quae Man- 

serunt Omnia, M. Tullii, 248 
Cimon, Life of, 132 
Cipher, bUiteral, xxiii 
Circumstance, 247 
Civil, 77, 228 
Civility, 211 
Clamour, 97 

Claudius (Tiberius Claudius 
Drusus Nero Germanious), 
Claudius Crassus, Appius, 43 
Clement, Jacques, 21, 181 
Cleon, 169 

Clerk's Tale, The, 237 
Close, 49 

Cloth of Arras, 125 
Clough, Arthur Hugh, 258 
Cock and a Diamond, A, 55 
Codlin, 214 
Coemption, 163 
Coke, Sir Edward, xxxiii, xxxiv, 

xli, xlv, xlvii, xlviii 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Ix 
Collation, 88 
Collegiate, 183 
Colour, 193 
Colours of Good and Evil, Of 

the, xxxvii 
Columbus, 239 
Comedy of Errors, The, 38, 

103, 138 
Comfort, 183 
Comines, Philippe de, Ix, Ixxvii, 

122, 123 
Command, 5 
Commend, 148 

Commentaries (Caesar), Ixxii 
Commentarius Solutus, Ixiv, 114 
Commiserable, 159 
Commodities, 188 
Commodus, 83 

Common Prayer, The Book of, 183 
Communicate, 122 
Composition, 150, 194 
Compound, 249 
Comus, 174 
Conceit, 29, 254, 255 
Conclusion, 105 
Conduct of Life, 268 
Confessio Amantis, 43 
Confessions of Augustine, The, 4 
Confidence, 73 
Conquest of Peru, History of 

the, 202 
Conscience, 47 



Consent, 72, 200 

Consort, 95 

ConstanS; Flavins Julins, 87 

Constantine the Great, 87 

Constantinus, Flavins Claudins, 

Oonstantius, Flavins Jnlins, 87 
Contain, 260 
Contrariwise, 38, 236 
Controversies of the Church of 

England. An Advertisement 

touching the, xxviii 
Conversation, 117 
Converse, 180 
Convince, 71 

Cooke, Sir Anthony, xv, xviii 
Copulate, 183 

1 Corinthians, 12, 118, 198, 

201, 216 

2 Corinthians, 52, 209, 243 
Coriolanus, 127, 198 
Coriolanus, Life of, Ixxvi, 96 
Com, 156 
Cornelian-tree, 212 
Correspondence of M. Tullius 

Cicero, arranged according 

to its Chronological Order, 

The, 108 
Corroborate, 181 
Cortegiano, II, xviii 
Coryate, Thomas, 188 
Coryats Crudities, Ixix, 187 
Cotgrave, Randle, 214, 215 
Council of Trent, 77 
COUNSEL, OF, Ixxxviii, 91 
Court, Great, 207 
Court and Titnes of James J., 200 
Covert, 219 

Cowley, Abraham, Life of, 6 
Cowper, William, 190, 211 
Cranmer, Thomas, xix 
Creature, 30 
Cringe, 13 

CrispuB, Flavius Julius, 87 
Critias, 170 
Croesus, 135 
Cromwell, Oliver, xcv 
Cromwell, Sir Oliver, Ixvii 
Crook, 107 
Cunning, 172 
CUNNING, OF, Ixiii, Ixiv, Ixxx, 

Ixxxvi, xci, xciii, 100 
Cunningly, 132 
Curiosities, 36 
Curiosity, 222 
Curiosity, Of, 37 
Curious, 115, 240 
Curiously, 234 
Currently, 149 
Custom, 158 

OF, xxiii, Ixxxvii, xc, 181, 


Custumae aptae ad Individuum, 

Cymbeline, 49 
Cyrus, 135, 249 

Daintily, 4 

Dainty, 175 

Dammasin, 213 

Danett, Thomas, Ixxvii ■ 

Daniel, 13, 16, 138, 250 

Davison, Francis, Ixviii 

Davison, William, Ixviii 

DEATH, OF, Ixii, 7 

Deceivable, 200 

Deceive, 224 

Decent, 198 

Decii, 251 

Declaration of the Practises and 
Treasons attempted and com- 
mitted by Robert late Earle 
of Essex, A, xlii 

Declination, 103 

Decline, 186 

Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empire, The History of, 21 

De facto, 48 

Defence of Poesie, The, Ix, 107, 

Defoe, Daniel, 248 

DEFORMITY, OF, Ixiv, 200 

DELAYS, OF, Ixiii, 98 

Demetrius, 88 

Democritus, 3, 71 

Demosthenes, xx, 51, 121, 135 

Dependance, 173 

Deprave, 231 

Derive, 40 

Desemboltura, 185 

Destitute, 159 

Deuteronomy, 252 

Devereux, Robert, 2d Earl of 
Essex, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxiv, 
XXXV, xxxvi, xxxvii, xxxviii, 
xxxix, xl, xli, xlii, xliii, 1, 
Lxxxiii, 103, 130, 174 

Devereux, Robert, 3d Earl of 
Essex, xlviii 

Device, 178 

Diagoras, 73 

Dialogues of the Dead, 74 

Dialogues of the Gods, 74 

Dialogues of Plato, 116, 170, 
202, 261, 263, 264 

Diary (Evelyn), 220 

Dietionarie of the French and 
English Tongues, 214, 215 

Dictionary, New English, 233 

Dictionary of National Biog- 
raphy, 114 

Dictionary of Slang and Col- 
loquial English, A, 256 

Difference, 115, 229 

DifG.ciIeness, 56 



Diocletian, 83 

Diogenes Laertius, 73, 100 

Dion Cassius, 10, 121, 122 

Disadvantageable, 131 

Discommodity, 158 

Disconteiit, 171, 229 

Discontentment, 227 

Discorsi sopra La Prima Deca 

di T. Livio, Ixxix, Ixxx, 54, 

55, 62, 181, 263 
DISCOURSE, OF, Ixxiii, 151 
Discourse of the Plantation in 

Ireland, Ixvii 
Discourses upon the First Decad 

of Livy, Political, 263 
Discoursing, 3 

Discovery of America, 166, 239 
Disgrace, 173 
DISPATCH, OF, Ixiii, Ixxxviii, 

Dispense with., 171 
Displant, 154 
Displeasure, 172 
Disreputation, 229 
Dissimulation, 24 
Distance, 69 
Distaste, 231 
Distemper, 83 
Ditty, 175 
Divers, 94, 198 
Diverse, 13 
Diversly, 136 
Doctor, 11 

Doctor's Tale, The, 43 
Doderidge, Sir Jolm, xlv 
Dole, 160 
Dolours, 10 
Domestic Life, Ixiii 
Domitian, 9, 83, 95, 166 
Donative, 90 
Donne, John, Iv 
Douay Bible, 180 
Doubt, 130 

Drake, Sir Francis, lix 
Drama, Elizabethan, Ixxxi, 

Ixxxii, Ixxxiii 
Dmsus Caesar, 86 
Drusus, Nero Claudius, 196 
Dryden, John 
Georgics, 223 
Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious 

Men Translated by John 

Dryden and Others, 166, 205 
Religio Laid, 264 
DUrer, Albrecht, 198 

Eales, Samuel J., 15 
Eastward Soe, xliv 
Eccentric, 77 
Ecclesiastes, xc, 160, 240, 241, 

Ecclesiastical Sonnets, 23 
Echo of Pont- Char entou, xxiii 

Eclogae, 134 

Edgar, 249 

Edinburgh Review, The, Iv 

Edward II., 86 

Edward IV., 197 

Edward VI., xviii, 168 

Egerton, Sir Thomas, xxxix 

Eighty-eight, the year, xxvi, 168 

Eikon Basilike, 260 

Either, 149, 218 

Ejaculation, 35 

Elegancy, 211 

Element, 72 

Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, 
xlvii, 174 

Elizabeth, Queen of England, xv, 
xvi, xvii, xix, xx, xxxiii, 
xxxiv, xxxv, xxxvi, xxxvii, 
xxxviii, xxxix, xl, xlii, xliii, 
xlv, xlvi, lix, Ixiii, Ixiv, Ixix, 
Ixxvi, Ixxviii, 101, 103, 137, 
167, 168, 174, 182 

Embase, 6 

Emblemes, 114 

Embossment, 221 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Ixiii, 35, 
76, 123 
Conduct of Life, 268 
Domestic Life, Ixiii 
Friendship, Ixiii 
Love, Ixiii 

Empedocles, 117 

EMPIRE, OF, 29, 82 

Employ to, 156 

Endymion, 211 

Engaged with, 182 

Engine, 77 

English Grammar (Ben Jon- 
son), 127 

English language, Ixxii, Ixxiii, 
Ixxxv, 30, 86, 125, 127, 156, 
179, 183 

English Men of Letters, Ixxx, 

Enow, 134 

Enterpriser, 186 

Entertainment, 230 

ENVY, OF, Ixiv, 35 

Epaminondas, 187 

Ephesians, 258 

Epicoene; or, The Silent Woman, 

Epicure, 17 

Epicureans, 5 

Epicurus, 43, 71, 73 

Epicycle, 77 

Epigrammata, 95 

Epimenides, 117 

Epimetheus, 68 

Epistle I. To Sir Richard Tem- 
ple, Lord Cobham, 46 

Epistle III. To Allen, Lord 
Bathurst, 159 



Cicero, 46, 108, 144 
Horace, 10 

Pliny the Younger, "im, 247 
Seneca, Ixx, 8, 9, 22, 43 

Equinoctia, 60 

Equipollent, 182 

Erasmi Adagia, 118 

Esculent, 155 

Escurial, 205 

Esmond, Henry, 13 

Essais (Montaigne), Ix, Ixxviii, 6 

Essay, Ixx 

Essayes or Counsels, Civill and 
Morall, lii, Ixi, Ixiii, Ixvii, 
Ixxii, Ixxiii, Ixxvii, Ixxix, 
Ixxx, Ixxxii, Ixxxv, Ixxxviii, xc, 
xciv, xcv, xcvi, 129, 183, 207 

Essex, 2d Earl of (see, Robert 

Essex, 3d Earl of (see, Robert 

Estate, 58, 64, 128, 228, 235, 

Esther, 206 

Ethics, Nichomachean, 245 

Eunuchus, 93 

Euripides, 17, 199 

Exaltation, 183 

Excellency, 197 

Except, 117 

Bxcusation, 113, 246 

Exhaust, 34, 271 

Exilio, Be, 32 

Exodus, 11, 17, 113 

Expect, 162 


Experience, to put in, 157 

Extern, 195 

Extreme, 201 

Evelyn, John, Ixix, 220 

Every of them, 63 

Every Man in his Humour, 190 

Tables of Abstetnius, 243 
Fables of Aesop and Other 

Eminent Mythologists : With 

Morals and Reflexions, 55, 

180, 243 
Facility, Iviii, 48 
Factious, 244 
Faery Queene, The, 45, 98, 99, 

110, 122, 207, 208 
Fain, 89 

Fair, 28, 205, 255 
Fall, xci, 28, 105 
Fame, 61 

Farmer, John S., 256 
Farneworth, Ellis, 263 
Fashion, 227 
Fast, 216 
Favor, 198 

Felicity, 24 

Penton, Geoffrey, Ixxviii 

Ferdinand II., 86 

Ferrier, Susan Edmonstone, 219 

Fetch, 269 

Fetch about, 104 

Field, 270 

Flashy, 234 

Fleming, Sir Thomas, xxxv, xlv, 

Florio, John, 183, 231 
Flos Africanus, 213 
Flout, 153 
Flower-de-luce, 218 
Flux, 262 

Fly upon a Wheel, A, 243 
Foil, 238 

Foix, Gaston de, 194 
Folk-lore, xci 

OF, Ixii, Ixiii, 227 
Fomentation, 113 
Fond, 127 
Foot, 206 
Foot-pace, 255 
Foot (under foot), 190 
For that, 128 
Forth (so far forth), 231 
Formal Gardens in England and 

Scotland, 220 
FORTUNE, OF, Ixxx, 184 
Foundation, 30 

Four and twenty letters, xci, 127 
Four mutable elements, 72 
Four Plays in One, 174 
Foxe, Richard, 94 
Francis Bacon : His Life and 

Philosophy, liv, Ivi 
Francis I., 85 
Frederick V., Elector Palatine, 

Friendship, Ixiii 
FRIENDSHIP, OF, Ixii, Ixxi, 

Ixxvii, Ixxxviii, xci, xciii, 

xcv, 117, 129 
Fritellaria, 212 
Froward, 226 
Fume, 264 
Futile, 27, 93 

Galba, 9, 50, 69, 166 

Galen, 245 

Galliard, 153 

GARDENS, OP, Ixv, Ixxv, 203, 

Gasca, Pedro de, 202 
Gaudery, 145 
Gay, John, Life of, 45 
Gellius, Aulus, 115, 116 
Genesis, 6, 15, 17, 47, 61, 135, 

172, 187 
Oeorgica, 60, 61, 187, 259 
Georgics, 223 



Oeraint and Enid, 110, 153 

Gerard, Balthazar, 181 

Germander, 212 

Genmania, 9 

Gibbon, Edward, 21 

Gidea Hall, xv 

Gillyflower, 217 

Gingle, 158 

Gladstone, William Ewart, 97 

Globe, 47 

Globe Theatre, xl 

Glorious, 164, 228 

Glory, 176, 245, 254 

Go, 223 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 46 
Gonzalo, Fernandez y Aguilar, 

Good-natured Man, The, 46 

Goodwin, William Watson, 35, 

37, 76, 123 
Gorhambury, xvii, xxv, xxvi, li, 

liv, Ivi, Ivii, Ixv, 203, 220 
Gower, John, 43 
Grace, 254, 255 
Grace Abounding to the Chief of 

Sinners, 10 
Gracious, 198 
Graecia, 143 
Grape-hyacinth, 214 
Gray, Asa, 215 

Gray's Inn, xxii, xxv, xxvi, xxxi, 
xxxii, xliv, xlvii, xlviii, 
Ixxxii, xcii, 174, 251 
Great Englishmen of the Six- 
teenth Century, Ivii 
GREAT PLACE, OP, Iviii, Ixii, 

xciv, 45 
TRUE, xxxviii, 132, 250 
Greene, Robert, Ix 
Gregory the Great, 263, 264 
GrenviUe, Sir Richard, Ixvi 
Greville, Fulke, xxxv 
Grief, 64 

Grimston, James Walter, 3d 
Earl of Verulam, liv, Ivi 
Grimston, Sir Harbottle, liv 
Grose, Francis, 256 
Gross, 264, 265 
Gryllus, 34 
Guiceiardini, Francesco, Ixxviii, 

Ixxix, 85 
Gulliver's Travels, 74, 262 
Gunpowder Plot, 17 
Guy Mannering, 263 

Haberdasher, 101 
Habilitation, 140 

Had need be, 179 

Hadrian, 38 

Hakluyt, Richard, Ix, 108 

HaUeck, Pitz-Greene, 33 

Hamlet, 29, 31, 34, 55, 106, 

115, 118, 125, 130, 194, 

196, 223, 231, 232 
Hand of Ethelberta, The, 203 
Handle, 36 
Hannibal, 196 
Hap, 262 

Hardy, Thomas, 203 
Hawkins, John Adair, Iv 
Healths, 81 
Hearken, 158 
Heath, 218 

Heauton-timorumenos, 114 
Hebrews, 8, 162 
Hecathomythium seu centuTn Fa- 

bulae, 243, 244 
Helmet of Pluto, 99 
Henley, W. E., 256 
Henry I., 88 
Henry II., 88 
Henry III., of Prance, 21, 62, 

167 238 
Henry IV., of France, 238, 250 

1 Henry IV., 112, 133 

2 Henry IV., 33, 104, 129 
Henry T., 66, 218 
Henry VI., 167 

1 Henry VI., 137, 171, 177, 201 
S Henry TI., 108, 110, 213, 
232, 244, 247 

3 Henry YI., 140, 175, 208 
Henry VII., lix, 89, 94, 137, 

149, 167, 250 
Henry VIII., lix, Ixxxiv, 85, 

Henry Till., 59, 106 
Henry, Prince, Ixx 
Heraclitus, 3, 125 
Herb a muscaria, 214 
Herbert, George, lii 
Hermogenes, xx, 196 
Herodotus, Ixxv, 166 
Heroides, 197, 234 
Hesiod, 92, 204 
Hilliard, Nicholas, Iv, Ivi 
His, 86, 183 
Historia del Concilio Tridentino, 

Ixxix, 78 
Historia d'ltalia, L', Ixxviii, 85 
Historiae (Livy), xx, 88, 185, 

197, 244, 246, 251 
Historiae Eomanae (Dion Cas- 

sius), 10, 121, 122 
Historiae (Taritus), 9, 25, 50, 

61, 62, 69, 70, 166, 246 
Historiae Augustae Scriptores, 

38, 70, 194 
Historie of the Councel of Trent, 

The, 78 



Historic of Guicdardin, The, 

Sistorie of Philip de Cormnines, 

The, Ixxvii 
Historie of the Raigne of King 

Henry the Seventh, The, lii, 

137, 167 
Historie of the TurJces, Generall, 

History of Appian of Alexan- 
dria, The Roman, 166 
History of the Conquest of Peru, 

History of the Decline and Fall 

of the Roman Empire, The, 

History of England, The, 48, 

History of the World, Ix 
History, Veracious, 74 
Hobart, Sir Henry, xlv, xlvii, 

Ixiv, 114 
Hobbes, Thomas, Ixv 
Hoby, Elizabeth. Cooke, xviii 
Hoby, Sir Edward, xvii 
Hoby, Sir Thomas, xviii 
Holland, Lady Henry, 32 
Hollandj Philemon, Ixxvi 
Holly-oak, 215 
Holpen, 110 
Holy Grail, The, 216 
Holy League, xxiii, 238 
Homer, xx, xxi, Ixxv, 67, 99, 

165, 186 
Honest Man's Fortune, The, 14 
TION, OP, 247 
Horace, Ixxv, 10, 121 
Hortensius, 196 
House, 30 
House-dove, 156 
Howard, Charles, 1st Earl of 

Nottingham, xxxviii 
Howard, Lady Prances, Coun- 
tess of Somerset, xlviii 
Howard, Henry, Earl of North- 
ampton, xxvi 
Howard, Thomas, 2d Earl of 

Arundel, liii 
Howsoever, 5, 189 
Hudibras, 6 
Humanity, 118 
Humorous, 33 
Hundred, 90, 136 
Husband, 248 

Hutton, Sir Richard, Ixiv, 251 
Hyacinthus orientalis, 212 

Iliad, XX, 67, 99 

111, 203 

Imagery, Bacon's, xci, xcii, xciii 

Impertinences, 32 

Impertinency, 254 

Impertinent, 115 

Importeth, 13 

Importune, 178, 227 

Impose, 3 

Imposthumation, 68 

Imprinting, 239 

Impropriate, 145 

In, 104 

In MemoriaTn, 146 

Inbowed, 208 

Incensed, 24 

Incident to, 141 

Inconmiodities, 188 

Inconformity, 109 

Incur, 38 

Indifferent, 27 

Indignity, 45 

Infamed, 86 

Infinite, 191 

Information, to make an, 230 

Ingrossing, 67 

Inheritance, The, 219 


Insolency, 68 

Instauratio Magna, xlviii 

Intelligence, 228 

Intend, 141 

Intention, 191 

Interessed, 19 

Intervenient, 257 

Into, 81 

Inundation, 268 

Inure, 173 

Inward, 49, 209 

Iphigeneia, 17 

Iphigeneia in Tauris, 17 

Iphigenie auf Tauris, 17 

Ira, De, 259 

Isabella the Catholic, 239 

Isaiah, 18, 91, 245 

Ismail I,, 197, 249 

Iteration, 112 

Itinerary, Ixix 

Its, 183 

Ivanhoe, 134, 149, 188 

Jade, 152 

James, 19, 117, 126, 254 

James I., xxxviii, xliii, xlv, Ixiii, 

Ixiv, Ixvii, Ixix, Ixxvi, 154, 

Janizary, 90 
Jannsen (Jonson) Van Ceulen, 

Cornelius, Ivi 
Jaureguy, John, 181 
Jenneting, 214 
Jeremiah, 111, 244 
Jewel, John, xix 
Job, 21, 63 
Joel, 195 
John, 3, 111, 117 
1 John, 201 
Johnson, Samuel, Ixx 



Lives of the English Poets 
Cowley, 6 
Gay, 45 
Jonson, Ben, xliv, xcvi 
Alchemist, The, 172 
Bartholomew Fair, 191, 215 
English Grammar, 127 
Epicoene; or. The Silent 

Woman, 221 
Every Man in his Humour, 

Magnetic Lady; or Humours 

Reconciled, The, 47 
Masque of Augurs, 177 
Prince Henry's Barriers, 177 
Sejanus his Fall, 156, 172 
Timber; or Discoveries made 
upon Men and Matter, xxvi, 
Underwoods, 245 
Yolpone; or The Fox, 52 
Joshua, 122 
Joust, 177 

Jowett, Benjamin, 117 
Judges, 17, 182 
JUDICATURE, OF, Ixiv, 251 
Julia, 121 

Julian tlie Apostate, 87 
Justinian, 249 
Juvenal, 10 

Keats, John, xxxi 
Endymion, 211 

Sonnet. — On first looking into 
Chapman's Homer, xxxi, 
Sonnet. — "When I have fears 
that I may cease to be 
Before my pen has glean' d 
my teeming brain," 199 
Keep but an even hand, 130 
Keep way, 185 

Elilligrew, Catherine Cooke, xviii 
Killigrew, Sir Henry, xviii 
Killigrew, Thomas, Jr., xviii 
Killigrew, Thomas, Sr., xviii 
King John, 104 

1 Kings, 257, 262 

2 Kings, 14 
Knap, 203 

Knight's Tale, The, 77, 122 
Knights, The, 169 
Knee-timber, 57 
Knolles, Richard, 202 
Knot, 219 
Knowledge, 55 

Lady of the Lake, The, 175 

Lamb, Charles, 108 

La Rochefoucauld, Francois, due 

de, 115, 196 
Latin in English, Ixxxiv, Ixxxv 
Laudative, 145 

Lavender, 211 

Lay of the Last Minstrel, The, 

Leads, 207 
Leaded, 210 
Lear, 32, 95, 150, 231 
Lee, Sidney, Ivii 
Leese, 90, 149 
Legend, The, 71 
Legibus, De, 257 
Lepanto, 144 
L'Estrange, Sir Roger, 55, 180, 

Let, 220 

Letter of Advice to Queen Eliza- 
beth, xxvii, xxviii 
Letter to Lord Burghley, irgJTr, 

XXX, xxxi 
Leucippus, 71 
Leviathan, The, Ixv 
Life and Works of Saint 

Bernard, 15 
Lilium convallium, 214 
L'Historia d'ltalia, Ixxviii, 85 
Litany, The, 181 
Lives of the English Poets, 6, 

Lives of the Noble Grecians and 

Romans, The, Ixxvi, 76 
Livia, 86 

Livia Drusilla, 9, 24 
Livy, Ixxv, Ixxx, Ixxxvi, xc, 43, 

88, 196, 197 
Historiae, xx, 88, 185, 197, 

244, 246, 251 
Loading, 56 

Lodge, Edmund, xvii, 220 
Longfellow, Henry "Wadsworth, 

Loose, 105 
Lord Bacon, Iv, Ixxx 
Lord of the Isles, The, 220, 270 
Lose, 232 

Louis XL, Ixxvii, 123 
Love, Ixiii 
LOVE, OF, Ixii, 42 
Love's Labour's Lost, 49, 105, 

141, 230 

Lucan, Ixxv, 64 

Lucian, Ixxv, 74 

Charon, 135 

Dialogues of the Dead, 74 
Dialogues of the Gods, 74 
Timon, 74 

Veracious History, 74 
Lucretius, Ixxv, 5, 17 
LucuUus, 134, 205, 236 
Lucullus, Life of, 134, 205 
Luke, 7, 10, 11, 14, 56, 94, 

187, 230, 253, 259 
Lurch, 204 
Lycurgus, 249 
Lysanaer, Life of, 6 



Mabillon, Dom John, 15 
Macaulay, Tiiomas Babington, 

Iv, Ixxx, 48, 226 
Macbeth, 8, 34, 69, 97, 131 
MacMavelli, Niccold, Ix, Ixxix, 

bcxx, Ixxxi, 54, 55, 62, 181, 

Machiavellism, Ixxx, xcv 
Macro, 172 
Maecenas, 121 
Magnetic Lady; or Humours 

Reconciled, The, 47 
Maid's Tragedy, The, 123 
Mainly, 162 
Make, 72, 233 
Malice, 201 
Manage, 194 
Marco Bozzaris, 33 
Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen 

of Navarre, Ix 
Marish, 158 
Marjoram, sweet, 216 
Mark, 14, 133, 198 

LIFE, OF, Ixii, xciii, 32 
Marriage of the Thames and the 

Rhine, The, xlviii, 174 
Marston, Jolin, xliv 
Martial (Marcus Valerius Mar- 

tialis), Ixxv, 95 • 
Marvel, 201 
Mary I., 168 

Mary Queen of Scots, 112 

OF, xxxii, liii, Ixiv, 174 
Masque, 174 
Masque of Augurs, 177 
Masque of Flowers, The, xlviii 
Masque of^ the Middle Temple 

and Lincoln's Inn, The, 176 
Masque of Pandora, The, 68 
Masques (Bacon's), xxxii, xlvii, 

xlviii, Ixv, Ixxxii 
Mate, 8 
Material, 113 
Matter, 102, 201 
Matthew, 12, 14, 18, 20, 42, 55, 

56, 85, 124, 146, 256, 265 
Matthew. Sir Tobie, 129, 130 
Maxim,e8 et Reflexions Morales, 

115, 196 
Mean, 85, 230, 232 
Mean, in a, 23 
Measure for Measure, 247 
Meat, 147 

Meautys, Anne Bacon, liv 
Meautys, Sir Thomas, liv 
Medea, 165 

Medici, Catharine de', xxiii. 167 
Medici, Cosmo de', 20, 194 
Medici, Lorenzo de', 86 
Medicina, A. Cornelii Celsi De, 


Medicine, 109 
Meddtationes Sacrae, xxxvii 
Meditations of Marcus Antoninus, 

The, 122 
Medlar, 215 
Melocotone, 215 
Memorabilia, 203 
Meno, 261 
Merchandizing, 188 
Merchant of Venice, The, 162, 

192, 194, 255 
Mercury rod, 18 
Mere, 118 
Merely, 14 
Mere-stone, 253 
Merry Wives of Windsor, The, 

Messalina, Valeria, 102 
Metamorphoses, 66, 75, 152 
Metaphysics (Aristotle), 245 
Mew. 135 
Mezereon-tree, 212 
Middleton, Thomas, 8 - 
Midsummer- Night's Dream, A, 

176, 214, 217, 218 
Migne, Jacques Paul. 74 
Militar, 245 
Milken Way, 185 
Milton, John 
Anecdote of, 26 
Comus, 174 
Paradise Lost. 47, 72, 77, 142, 

171, 231. 268, 270 
Mintman, 97 
Misanthropi, 56 
Mislike, 192 

Mohammed, 16, 52, 266 
Moil. 157 
Momus, 204 
Monastery, The, 24 
Monk's-hood, 215 
Montagu, Basil, Iv 
Montaigne, Michel de, Ix, Ixi, 

Ixix. Ixx, Ixxvii, Ixxviii, 

Ixxix, 6 
Moore. Thomas, 4, 72 
More, 198 

More, Sir Thomas. 190 
Morley, John, Ixxxi 
Morris-dance, 13 
Morse, S. F. B., 234 
Mortification, 7 
Morton, John, 94 
Moryson, Pynes, Ixix 
Most of all, 73 
Motions, 60 
Mought, 122 
Mountebank, 52 
Move, 101 
Much Ado About Nothing, 5, 

31, 36, 102, 157 
Muciauus, 25, 246 
MUller, Johann, 168 



Multiplication upon, 183 
Muniting, 16 
Mustapha, 86, 87, 202 
Mystery, 23 

Napier, A., 6 

Narcissus, 102 

Narses, 37 

National Portrait Gallery, Ivii 

Naturalis Historia, 198 

NATURE IN MEN, OP, xci, 178 

Naught, 162 

Nectarine, 215 

Negative, double, 30 

Neglecting, 20 

NEGOCIATING, OF, bciii, 225 

Nehemiah, 102 

Nero, 82, 84 

Neville, Henry, xvii 

Neville, Sir Henry, xviii 

Newel, 207 

Nice, 138, 175 

Nicol, John, liv, Ivi 


Nodes Atticae, 115 

Nonesuch, xxxviii 

North, Sir Thomas, Ixxvi, 76 

Northampton, Earl of (see, Henry 

Notable, 250 
Note, 231 
Nottingham, 1st Earl of (see, 

Charles Howard) 
Novum Organum, xlviii 
Numa Pompilius, 117 

Obnoxious, 173, 201 

Observations, 239 

Obtain, 25 

Occasion, 98 

Ochino, Bernardino, xix 

Odyssey, 34 

Oes, 176 

Of, 40, lis, 124, 146, 169, 
253, 254 

Offence, 147 

Officious, 228 

Oft, 259 

Old Age, 199 

Old Law, The, 8 

Old Mortality, xci, 175 

Olynthiacs , xx 

On first looMng into Chapman's 
Homer, xxxi, xxxii 

O'NeiU, Hugh, 2d Earl of Ty- 
rone, xxxviii 

Opera Moralia, Ix, 34, 35, 37, 76 

Opera Moralia et Civilia, lii 

Optimates, 236 

Oraculous, 27 

De Haruspicum Besponso in 
P. Clodium, 76 

In M, Antonium Philippica 
Tertia Decima, 121 

In L, Calpurnium Pisonem, 

Pro O. Rabirio Postumo, 160 
Oratore, De, 34, 205 
Oratoria, De Institutione, 116, 

Order, to take, 171 
Osman I., 249 
Othello, 6, 118, 240 
Otho, 8, 9 
Overcome, 162 
Overlive, 121 
Over-power, 268 
Overspealiing, 254 
Ovid, Ixxv, Ixxxvi 

Heroides, 197, 234 

Metamorphoses, 66, 75, 152 

Remedia Amoris, 179 

Tristium, 253 

Packing of thought, Ixxxvii, 

Painter, William, Ix 
Pair, 110 
Palm, 85 
Pandora, 68 
Parable, 123 
Paradise Lost, 47, 72, 77, 142, 

171, 231, 268, 270 

OP, 29 
Parker, Matthew, xix 
Particular, 262 
Pass, Simon, Ivi 
Passable, 236 
Passages, 112 
Patrologiae Cursus Completus, 

Paul, 12 
Paulet, or Poulet, Sir Amias, 

xxii, Iv, Ixxxviii, 112 
Pawn, 190 
Pease, 156 
Periam, Elizabeth Bacon Neville, 

xviii, xlv 
Periam, Sir William, xlv 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 142, 

Period, 195 
Perish, 123 
Persuade, 19 
Pertinax, 21 
Perturb, 77 
Pet Lamb, The, 237 
Phaedo, 261 
Phaethon, 152, 262 
Pharsalia, 64 
Philip II., of Macedon, 88, 121, 

166, 198 
Philip II., of Spain, 167, 168, 




Philippe le Bel, 197 

Philippians, 4 

Philippicae, 51, 121, 135 

Philology, 271 

Philostratus, 84 

Piety, natural, 76 

Pilgrim's Progress, The, 156 

Pirate, The, 137 

Piso, liiicius Calpurniiis, 115 

Place, to take, 231 

Plantation, 154 

PLANTATIONS, OF, liii, Ixvi, 

Ixvii, 154 
Plato, XX, Ixxv, 73, 116, 202, 
261, 264 
Critias, 170 
Meno, 261 
Phaedo, 261 
Protagoras, 116 
Republic, 170 
TimaeuB, 170, 263, 264 
Plato's great year, 264 ' 
Plausible, 41 

Plautianus, Lucius Pulvius, 121 
Plautus, Ixxv, 184 
Play-pleasure, 36 
Pleasure, 172 
Pliny the Elder, liii, Ixxv, 198, 

Pliny the Younger, Ixxv, 246, 

Plutarch, Ix, Ixxv, Ixxvi, 76, 166 
Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious 
Men, 166, 205 
Aleibiades, 199 
Alexander, 166 
y Antony, Ixxvi, 57 
Caesar, Ixxvi, 120, 166, 186 
Cimon, 132 
Coriolanus, Ixxvi, 96 
Lucullus, 134, 205 
Lysander, 6 

Marcus Brutus, Ixxvi, 166 
- ' Pompey, 120 
Sulla, 186 
, Themistocles, 125, 132 

Timoleon, 187 
Plutarch, Philosophie commonly 
called the Morals, written by 
the learned philosopher, Ix, 
.f'^Ad/ulatore et amico, De, 44 
Curiosity, Of, 37 
^ Exilio, De, 32 
-'Gryllus, 34 
- - -Superstition, Of, 76 
. Symposiaca, 35 

Training of Children, Of the, 
' 123 
Pluto, 99, 161 
Ply, 183 

Poems on Life and Duty, 258 
Poesy, 23 

Poetics (Aristotle), 245 

Point, 207 

Point-device, 240 

Politic, 52 

Politics, 13 

Polities of Aristotle, The, 117, 

Poll, 256 

Pollock, Sir Frederick, 233 
Polycrates, 166 
Pompey, 64, 108, 143, .144, 160, 

161, 205, 236 
Pompey, Life of, 120 
Pope, Alexander, Ixxx 

Epistle I, 46 

Epistle III, 159 

The Eape of the Lock, IT! 
Popularity, 228 

Portraits of Illustrious Person- 
ages of Great Britain, xvii, 
Poser, 152 
Practice, 226 
Praeterita, Ixxxix 
Praetorian bands, 21, 90 
Pragmatic Sanction, 139 
PRAISE, OF, 241 
Pray in aid, 124 
Precedent, 86 
Prefer before, 203 
Pre-occupate, 8 

Preseott, William Hickling, 202 
Prescription, 226 
Present, 141 
Prest, 142 
Pretend, 142 
Pretty, 105 
Prevent, 254 

Primum mobile, 63, 77, 238 
Prineipall Navigations, Voiages 
and Discoveries of the Eng- 
lish Nation, etc.. The, Ix, 108 
Privado, 119 
Private, 156 
Privateness, 46, 180 
Probus, 70 
Procure, 138 
Profit, 195 

Prologue, The, 110, 213 
Prometheus, 23, 68 
Prometheus Bound, 23 
Prometheus Unbound, 23 
Proof, 31 
Proper, 129, 260 
PROPHECIES, OF, xxiii, liii, 

Proportion, Yier Biicher von 

■menschlicher, 198 
Propriety, 12 
Prospect, 5 
Prospective, 114 
Protagoras, 116 
Prothero, Rowland E., 23 



Proverb literature, Ixxxvii, 
Ixxxviii, 28, 44, 54, 112, 
118, 123, 125, 151, 244 

Proverbs, Ixxxvi, xc, 19, 30, 40, 
50, 82, 91, 106, 147, 160, 
161, 164, 242, 252, 253, 255 

Provoke, 8 

Proyning, 233 

Psalm OIT., 176 

Psalms, 12, 15, 20, 72, 101, 
132, 180, 183, 197, 216, 253, 

Psalter, The, 79, 254 

Publilii Syri Mimi Sentential, 44 

Pilling, 176 

Purprise, 255 

Push, 242 

Pyrrho, 3 

Pythagoras, 82, 123 

Pythonissa, 165 

Quality, 66 
Quarles, Francis, 114 
Quarrel, 34 
Quarter, 44 

Quarter, to keep good, .103 
Quech, 182 
Queen Mary, 181 
Quentin Durward, 123 
Quicken, 191 
Quintessence, 72 
Quintilian (Marcus Fabius 
Quintilianus), 116, 232 
Quotable prose, xciv, xcv 

Babelais, Francois, Ixxvii, 13 
Rabelais, Les Cinq Livres de 

F., 13 
Babirius (Oaius Rabirius Pos- 

tumus), 160 
Balegh, Sir Walter, xxvi, 

xxxviii, Ix, Ixvi, 154 
Rape of the Lock, The, 177 
Basps, 214 

Bavaillac, Francois, 181 
Bawley, William, xx, xxi, xxii, 

xxiv, xxvi, lii, Ixix, Ixxii, 

Ixxiii, xci, xcii 
Eeason, 46, 59 
Becamera, 209 
Beciproque, 44 
Bedburn, xxv 
Redgauntlet, 189, 207 
Redgrave, xvi, xvii 
Reduce, 271 
Refer, 231 
Referendary, 231 
Refrain, 258 
Begard (in regard), 137 
Begard (in regard of), 192 
Begiment, 146 

xlvi, Ixvi, xcv, 146 

BegiomontanuB, 168 

Regular, 48 

Regius, Marcus Atilius, 251 

Beiglement, 191 

Eeins, 235 

Religio Laid, 264 

Religio Medici, 9, 262 

Remedia Amoris, 179 

Bemover, 186 

Benaissauce, The, lix, Ix, Ixxxiv, 

Beposed, 194 
Republic, 170 
Rerum Natura, De, 5, 17 
Besort, 105 
Bespect, 131, 148 
Respects, 49, 58, 238 
Best, 172 
Restrained, 125 
Beturn, 206 
Revelation, 14, 206 
REVENGE, OP, xxiii, Ixxv, 19 
Revenges, 21 
Reynolds, S. H., 207 
Rhetoric (Aristotle), 245 
Rhetorica, 198 
Ribes, 214 

Richard II., xl, 150, 192, 255 
Richard III., 49 
RICHES, OF, xc, 159 
Rid, 140 
Right, 107 
Rise, 163 
Roast Pig, A Dissertation upon, 

Robinson Crusoe, 248 
Romanes Lecture, Ixxxi 
Romans, 7, 57, 60, 158, 200, 

Romeo and Juliet, 154, 204 
Romulus, 140, 249 
Rosemary, 223 
Bossetti, William Michael, 23 
Bound, 6, 29, 110 
Bowlett, Margaret Cooke, xviii 
Bowlett, Sir Balph, xviii 
Eoxalana, 86, 202 
Ruskin, John, Ixxxix 
Russell, Francis (2d Earl of 

Bedford), xviii 
Russell, Lord John, xviii 

Sabinian, 264 

Sacrifice, 251 

Sad, 24 

Saggi Morali del Signore Fran- 
cesco Bacono, 129 

Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin, 

Saisiaz, La, 160 

Salisbury, Earl of, (see. Sir 
Robert Cecil) 

Sallust, XX, 84 



1 Samuel, 165 

2 Samuel, 94 

Sapientia Veterum, De, xlvii, 129 

Sarpi, Paolo, Ixxix, 78 

Sarza, 119 

Saturn, 76 

Satyrian, 214 

Scant, 204 

Scantling, 250 

Scipio Africanus Major, Ixxxvi, 

196, 244, 246 
Scott, Sir Walter, xci 
Guy Mannering, 263 
Ivanhoe, 134, 149, 188 
Lady of the Lake, The, 175 
Lay of the Last Minstrel, The, 

Lord of the Isles, The, 220, 

Monastery, The, 24 
Old Mortality, xci, 175 
Pirate, The, 137 
Quentin Durward, 123 
Redgauntlet, 189, 207 
Scrap, 256 
Scrivener, 163 
Seasons, The, 217 
Seat, 203 
Second, 230 

OF, Ixxxvi, xciv, 60 
Seek (be to seek), 191 
Seel, 172 

xcv, 114 
Sejanus his Fall, 156, 172 
Sejanus, Aelius, 86, 121, 172 
Selymus I., 88 
Selymus II., 87 

Seneca, Ixxv, Ixxvii, 8, 116, 170, 
Epistolae ad Lucilium, Ixx, 8, 

9, 22, 43 

De Ira, 259 

Medea, 165 

Thyestes, 47 

Sermones Fideles sive Interiora 

Rerum, lii 
Services, 215 
Several, 206 
Severus, Lucius Septimius, 10, 

21, 121, 193, 194 
Sforza, Lodovico, 86 
Shadow, 46 

Shakspere, William, xl, lii, lix, 
Ixvii, Ixxv, Ixxvi, Ixxvii, 
Ixxxi, Ixxxii, Ixxxiii, Ixxxiv, 
Ixxxv, xciv, xcv, 8, 34, 74, 
76, 172, 183, 212, 213, 214, 
All 's Well that Ends Well, 183 
Antony and Cleopatra, 43, 77, 
124, 227 

As You Like It, 81, 113, 162, 

169, 240 
Comedy of Errors, The, 38, 

103, 138 
Coriolanus, 127, 198 
Cymbeline, 49 
Hamlet, 29, 31, 34, 55, 106, 

115, 118, 125, 180, 194, 

196, 223, 231, 232 

1 Henry IT., 112, 133 

2 Henry IT., 33, 104, 129 
Henry T., 66, 218 

1 Henry TI., 137, 171, 177, 

a Henry TI., 108, 110, 213, 

232, 244, 247 

3 Henry TI., 140, 175, 208 
Henry Till., 59, 106 
Julius Oaesar, 31, 59, 64, 73, 

125, 147, 148, 184 
King John, 104 
Lear, 32, 95, 150, 231 
Love's Labour's Lost, 49, 

105, 141, 230 
Macbeth, 8, 34, 69, 97, 131 
Measure for Measure, 247 
Merchant of Tenice, The, 162, 

192, 194, 255 
Merry Wives of Windsor, The, 

Midsummer-Night's Dream, A, 

176, 214, 217, 218 
Much Ado About Nothing, 5, 

31, 102, 157 
Othello, 6, 118, 240 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 142, 

Richard II., xl, 150, 192, 255 
Richard III., 49 
Romeo and Juliet, 154, 204 
Taming of the Shrew, The, 22, 

49, 180, 249, 260, 262 
Tempest, The, 158, 264 
Timon of Athena, 74, 172, 

Titus Andronicus, 228 
Troilus and Cressida, 162 
Twelfth Night; or What You 

Will, 21, 175, 200, 214 
Two Gentlemen of Terona, The, 

Winter's Tale, The, 211, 213, 

215, 217 
Tenus and Adonis, Ixxxiii 
Shelley, Memoir of Percy 

Bysshe, 23 
Shilleto, Arthur Richard, 22 
Shrewd, 106 
Sibylla's offer, 98 
Side, 237 
Sidgwick, Henry 
Henry Sidgwick, A Memoir by 

A. S. and E. M. S., 97 



Sidney, Sir Philip, Ix, 107, 141 

Sidney Letters, xxxviii 

Silius, Cains, 102 

Simulation, 24 

LATION, OP, Ixiii, Ixxi, 24, 

Sinews of war, 135 

SingTilar, 139 

Sit, 189 

Slide, 60, 186 

Slope, 220 

Slug, 189 

Smith, Captain John, Ixvii, 154 

Smith, Sydney 
A Memoir of the Reverend 
Sydney Smith, by nis Daugh- 
ter, Lady Holland, with a 
Selection from his Letters, 
edited by Mrs. Austin, 32 

Smother, 125 

So, 5 

Socrates, 116, 202, 245 

Softness, 229 

Solecism, 84 

Solon, 135, 249, 263 

Solution of continuity, 11 

Solyman I., 87, 202 

Somerset, Countess of (see. Lady 
Frances Howard) 

Somerset, Earl of (see, Kobert 

Sort, 31, 204 

Southampton, Earl of (see, Henry 

Spang, 176 

Spartianus, Aelius, 38, 194 

Spectator, The, 75, 265 

Spedding, James, liii, Iv, Ivi, Ivii, 
Ixxx, Ixxxi, 15, 37, 54, 61, 
62, 76, 89, 90, 91, 94, 103, 
154, 165, 178, 179, 182, 
199, 204, 270 

Speech of touch, 153 

Spenser, Edmund, 45, 98, 99, 
110, 122, 207, 208, 217 

Spials, 201 

Sprite, 177 

Stablish, 164 

Staddle, 136 

Stale, 53 

Stand upon, 141 

Stand with, 155 

Stanhope, Michael, xriii 

Stanhope, Philip Dormer, 4th 
Earl of Chesterfield, 27 

State, 137 

Stay, 59 

Steal, 49 

Steele, Sir Richard, 265 

Sterne, Lawrence, 9, 129, 250 

Stick, 251 

Stirp, 58 

Stock-gillyflower, 212, 217 

Siond, 234 

Storm, The, Iv 

Stout, 149 

Stove, 212 

Straightways, 85 

STUDIES, OF, Ixix, Ixx, Ixxi, 

Ixxxviii, xcii, 233 
Suetonius, Ixxv, 9, 69, 166, 167 
Sufficiency, 50 
Sufficient, 240 
Suit, 265 

Sulla, Ixxxvi, 69, 120, 186 
Sulla, Life of, 186 
Sulphur, flower of, 119 
Superficies, 114 

Superstition, Of (Plutarch), 76 
Surcharge, 59 
Survival of Elizabethan English 

in Scottish Vernacular, xci 
Suspect, 110, 237 
SUSPICION, OF, Ixiii, xcii, 149 
Sustentation, 269 
Swift, Jonathan, 262 
Sylva Sylvarum: or A Natural 

Misto'^y, xxi, xxiii, xxiv, lii, 

hii, Ixi, 175, 179, 224 
Symposiaca, 35 
Syrus, Pubiilius, 44 

Tacitus, xxi, Ixxiv, Ixxv, Ixxvii, 
xcii, 9, 24, 25, 63, 84, 246, 
Annales, 9, 25, 86, 102, 104, 

121, 164, 241 
Germania, 9 
Historiae, 9, 25, 50, 61, 62, 

69, 70, 166, 246 
Julii Agricolae Vita, 9, 242 
Talmud, 71 
Taming of the Shrew, The, 22, 

49, 180, 249, 260, 262 
Task, The, 190, 211 
Temper, 83 
Temperature, 29 
Tempest, The, 158, 264 
Temporis Partus Maximus, 

xxviii, xlviii 
Tendering, 148 
Tennyson, Alfred 
Blackbird, The, 214 
Geraint and Enid, 110, 153 
Eoly Grail, The, 216 
In Memoriam, 146 
Queen Mary, 181 
Terence (Publius Terentius 
Afer), Ixxv 
Eunuchus, 93 
Seauton-timorumenos, 114 
Thackeray, William Makepeace, 



Thales, 35 

Thank, 230 

That, 26, 72, 101, 234, 247 

Themistocles, 124, 144 

Themistoeles, Life of, 125, 132 

Theodoric the Great, 249 

Theogony, 92 

Theologues, 243 

2 Thessalonians, 140 

Thomas, known as Thomas h 

Becket, 88 
Thomson, James, 217 
Thyestes, 47 
Thyme, 218 
Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, 

9, 25, 86, 121, 166, 172, 196 
Tigellinus, Sophonius, 104 
Tigranes, 134 
Timaeus, 170, 263, 264 
Timber; or Discoveries made 

upon Men and Matter, xxvi, 

Timoleon, 187 
Timoleon, Life of, 187 
Timon, 57 
Timon, 74 

Timon of Athens, 74, 172, 229 
Timone, 74 
Timotheus, 186 

1 Timothy, 16, 195, 258 

2 Timothy, 114 
Timur (Tamerlane), 37 
Tiphys, 165 

Titus Andronicus, 228 

To, 109, 156 

Topiary work, 220 

TotteVs Miscellany, 196 

Touch, 146, 260 

Tourney, 177 

Towardness, 87 

Toxophilus, Ixxxiv 

Tract, 27, 196 

Traduce, 263 

Training of Children, Of the, 

Trajan, 122, 246 
Transcendence, 22 
Travail, 140 

TRAVEL, OF, Ixviii, 79 
Tribunitious, 97 
Triggs, H. Inigo, 220 
Trinity College (Cambridge), 

XX, xxi, 207 
Trinummus, 184 
Tristium, 253 

Tristram Shandy, 9, 129, 250 
Triumph, 174 
Troilus and Oressida, 162 
TRUTH, OF, Ixi, Ixxv, Ixxvi, 3, 

Turn the cat in the pan, xci, 104 
Turquet, 177 
Tusculanae, 182, 245 

Twelfth Night, or What You 
Will, 21, 175, 200, 214 

Twickenham, xvii, xxxv 

Two Gentlemen of Verona, The, 

Tyrone, 2d Earl of (see, Hugh 

Tyrrell, Robert Yelverton, 108 

Ulysses, 34 

Undertaker, 157 

Undertaking, 40 

"Underwoods, 245 

Unguent, 113 

Union of the Kingdoms of Eng- 
land and Scotland. Certain 
Articles or Considerations 
touching the, Ixvii 

xxviii, Ixxvi, Ixxvii, 11 

Unsecreting, 93 

Upon, 161, 227 

Use, 190 

Usury, 187 

USURY, OF, 187 

Utopia, 190 

VAIN-GLOET, OP, Ixxxviii, 

xcii, 243 
Value, 163 

Van Somer, Paul, Ivi, Ivii 
Vantage, 144 

Varchi, Benedetto, Ixxviii, Ixxix 
Vatican, 205 
Vaunt, 247 
Vaux, Thomas, 2d Baron Vaux 

of Harrowden, 196 
Vein, 38 

Vena porta, 89, 188 
Venus and Adonis, Ixxxiii 
Veracious History, 74 
Vergil, xxi, Ixxv, 61, 121 
Aeneid, 61, 137, 165 
Eclogae, 134 

Georgiea, 60, 61, 187, 259 
Vernon, Elizabeth, Countess of 

Southampton, Ixxxiii 
Verulam, 3d Earl of (see James 

Walter Grimston) 
Verulam House, Ixv, 203 
Version, 265 
Vespasian, 9, 25, 50, 83, 84, 

166, 197, 2^9 

OF, Ixxix, xciv, 261 
Victual, 155 
Villars, Pierre de, 20 
Villiers, George, 1st Duke of 

Buckingham, xxxv, xlix, li, lii 
Virginia Company, South, Ixvii, 

Ixxxiii, 154 
Vitellius. Anlus, 9, 25 
Vizard, 177 



Vocation, 12 
Voice, 233 

Volpone; or The Fox, 53 
Vopiscus, Flavins, 70 
Votary, 183 
Vouch, 12 
Vulgar, 135 

Vuigate, Ixxxvi, xe, 15, 47, 50, 
106, 180, 253, 358 

Wait upon, 101 

Waller, Edmund, 199 

Wantons, 30 

Wardens, 215 

Washington, George, 202 

Waste, 106 

Wax, 124 

Way, 44 

Webster, John, 43 

Welt, 221 

Were better, 125 

"When I have fears that I may 

cease to be" (Keats), 199 
Which, 122 
Whit, 53 

White, Horace, 166 
Whitgift, John, xx, xxi 
Who, 36, 131 
William Bufus, 88 
William the Silent, 181 
Winter's Tale, The, 211, 213, 

315, 217 
Wisdom, of the Ancients, Of the, 
xlvii, 33, 61, 68, 93, 99, 125, 


OF, Ixiii, Ixxx, xciv, 106 
With (withe), 182 
Withal, 366 
Witty, 14 
Wonderment, 176 

Wont, 301 

Wordsworth, William 
Ecclesiastical Sonnets, 23 
The Pet Lamb, 237 
Work, 226 
Works of Francis Bacon, The 

(Spedding), liii, Iv, Ivi, Ivii, 

15, 37, 54, 61, 63, 76, 90, 

91, 94, 154, 165, 178, 179, 

182, 199, 204, 370 
Works of Francis Bacon, Lord 

Chancellor of England, The, 

Works of Lord Byron, The 

(Prothero), 33 
Worlde of Wordes, A, 183, 231 
Wotton, Sir Henry, liv, 36 
Would, 4, 19, 101, 151, 175, 

Wright, W. Aldis, 168 
Wriothesley, Henry, 3d Earl of 

Southampton, xli, xlii, 1, 

Ixvii, Ixxxiii 
Wrought, 234 
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, Ix 

Xenophon, xx, 202 
Memorabilia, 202 

Tea, 216 

Tear, Plato's great, 264 
Tork House, xv, xxxix 

Zanger, 202 
Zeal, 264 
Zelants, 13 
Zenobia, 349 
Zephaniah, 200 
Zeuxis, 198